Medical problems of detainees after the conclusion of major ground combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom

Clinton K. Murray*, Stuart A. Roop, Duane R. Hospenthal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


After the conclusion of major ground combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the focus of the mission changed, although intense armed conflict continued. Included in this mission was management of security detainees, including provision of their medical care. We retrospectively reviewed the admission records identified at a short-term holding facility over 2 months and diagnoses of detainees admitted to a combat support hospital over 4 months as a health care service utilization statistics review. Six thousand six hundred thirty-one detainee encounters occurred at the short-term facility with approximately 45% of detainees reporting medical problems during each daily evaluation. Most frequent complaints were neurological (11%), gastrointestinal (10%), and respiratory (8%). Two hundred nineteen detainees' admission diagnoses were retrospectively reviewed from the combat support hospital, 98 (45%) due to gunshot or fragmentary injuries and 121 (55%) to other medical problems. Medical problems included cardiac (29%), gastrointestinal (17%), neurological (14%), musculoskeletal (11%), and pulmonary (6%) disease. Medical problems not traditionally dealt with in a combat theater, including management of transplant recipients, patients with cardiac valve replacement, and cancer patient, were also seen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-504
Number of pages4
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


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