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Mil Med. 2001 Jan;166(1):90-3.

Surgical care in the isolated military hospital.

Author information

1
Departments of General and Orthopedic Surgery, Guantanamo Bay Naval Hospital, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To maintain the health of service members and their families throughout the world, the Department of Defense has established several isolated military hospitals (IHs). The operational environment of IHs is such that illness and traumatic injury requiring surgical intervention is common. This study sought to examine the general and orthopedic surgical experience at an IH to determine whether surgical care could be provided in an effective and safe manner.

METHODS:

All patients evaluated by the general and orthopedic surgeon at Guantanamo Bay Naval Hospital from October 1, 1998, to April 1, 1999, were included in this study. The following data were retrospectively reviewed: patient demographic data, diagnosis, initial and follow-up care, medical evacuation data, operative procedures, and complications.

RESULTS:

There were 336 patients who presented for surgical evaluation, resulting in 660 follow-up appointments during the study period. There were 31 medical evacuations (3 emergent). The surgical services performed 122 major operative procedures. There were 58 inpatient admissions. There was 1 death, and surgical complications occurred in 2 patients, for an overall morbidity and mortality of 1.4% and 0.7%, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Our data show that an IH is capable of providing surgical care, including care for traumatic injuries, in a safe manner. This is the first study that provides objective evidence that general and orthopedic surgery at an IH can be provided within the standard of care.

PMID:
11197107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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