The Canadian Forces' (CF) deployable hospital, 1 Canadian Field Hospital, was deployed to Haiti after an earthquake that caused massive devastation. Two surgical teams performed 167 operations over a 39-day period starting 17 days after the index event. Most operations were unrelated to the earthquake. Replacing or supplementing the destroyed local surgical capacity for a brief period after a disaster can be a valuable contribution to relief efforts. For future humanitarian operations/disaster response missions, the CF will study the feasibility of accelerating the deployment of surgical capabilities.
Elevated base deficit (BD) and lactate levels at admission in patients with injury have been shown to be associated with increased mortality. This relationship is undefined in the Canadian experience. The goal of this study was to define the association between arterial blood gas (ABG) values at admission and mortality for Canadians with severe blunt injury.
A retrospective review of 3,000 consecutive adult major trauma admissions (Injury Severity Score, = 12) to a Canadian academic tertiary care referral center was performed. ABG values at the time of arrival were analyzed with respect to associated mortality and length of stay.
A total of 2,269 patients (76%) had complete data available for analysis. After exclusion of patients who sustained a penetrating injury or were admitted for minor falls (ground levels or low height), 445 had an ABG drawn within 2 hours of arrival. Patients who died displayed a higher median lactate (3.6 vs. 2.2, p
As part of its contribution to the Global War on Terror and North Atlantic Treaty Organization's International Security Assistance Force, the Canadian Forces deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2006. We have studied the causes of deaths sustained by the Canadian Forces during the first 28 months of this mission. The purpose of this study was to identify potential areas for improving battlefield trauma care.
We analyzed autopsy reports of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan between January 2006 and April 2008. Demographic characteristics, injury data, location of death within the chain of evacuation, and cause of death were determined. We also determined whether the death was potentially preventable using both explicit review and implicit review by a panel of trauma surgeons.
During the study period, 73 Canadian Forces members died in Afghanistan. Their mean age was 29 (+/-7) years and 98% were male. The predominant mechanism of injury was explosive blast, resulting in 81% of overall deaths during the study period. Gunshot wounds and nonblast-related motor vehicle collisions were the second and third leading mechanisms of injury causing death. The mean Injury Severity Score was 57 (+/-24) for the 63 study patients analyzed. The most common cause of death was hemorrhage (38%), followed by neurologic injury (33%) and blast injuries (16%). Three deaths were deemed potentially preventable on explicit review, but implicit review only categorized two deaths as being potentially preventable.
The majority of combat-related deaths occurred in the field (92%). Very few deaths were potentially preventable with current Tactical Combat Casualty interventions. Our panel review identified several interventions that are not currently part of Tactical Combat Casualty that may prevent future battlefield deaths.
Acute care surgery (ACS) comprises trauma and emergency surgery. The purpose of this new specialty is to involve trauma and nontrauma surgeons in the care of acutely ill patients with a surgical pathology. In Quebec, few acute care surgery services (ACSS) exist, and the concept is still poorly understood by most general surgeons. This survey was meant to determine the opinions and interest of Quebec general surgeons in this new model.
We created a bilingual electronic survey using a Web interface and sent it by email to all surgeons registered with the Association qu?b?coise de chirurgie. A reminder was sent 2 weeks later to boost response rates.
The response rate was 36.9%. Most respondents had academic practices, and 16% worked in level 1 trauma centres. Most respondents had a high operative case load, and 66% performed at least 10 urgent general surgical cases per month. Although most (88%) thought that ACS was an interesting field, only 45% were interested in participating in an ACSS. Respondents who deemed this concept least applicable to their practices were more likely to be working in nonacademic centres.
Despite a strong interest in emergency general surgery, few surgeons were interested in participating in an ACSS. This finding may be explained by lack of comprehension of this new model and by comfort with traditional practice. We aim to change this paradigm by demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of the new ACSS at our centre in a follow-up study.