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Mil Med. 2006 Jun;171(6):530-3.

Endoscopy in a deployed combat support hospital: maintaining military end-strength.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Department of Veterans Affairs-New Jersey Healthcare System, East Orange, NJ 07018-1095, USA.



The objective was to examine the safety and efficacy of the 48th Combat Support Hospital's use of diagnostic endoscopy in Afghanistan.


A retrospective review was performed on the medical records of all endoscopy patients treated at the 48th Combat Support Hospital in Bagram, Afghanistan, from December 6, 2002 through June 7, 2003.


Twenty-four patients (male, 21; female, 3; mean age, 35 years) underwent 28 endoscopic procedures as follows: colonoscopy, 14; esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), 13; and flexible sigmoidoscopy, 1. Four patients underwent both EGD and colonoscopy. There were no complications. Of the 18 U.S. military patients, 3 (15%) were evacuated for further evaluation and/or treatment and 1 (5%) patient underwent an elective screening colonoscopy. For 14 of 17 U.S. military personnel (82%), the endoscopic procedures obviated evacuation from Afghanistan.


Diagnostic colonoscopy and EGD were valuable and safe adjuncts that precluded evacuations out of theater for 82% of military patients. Endoscopy should be used when U.S. military operations necessitate the deployment of large numbers of forces for protracted periods.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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