The purpose of this study was to document the surgical experience of the Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit (R3MMU) at Kandahar Airfield Base while Canada was the lead nation for the facility. This study will help inform on future staffing, training, and deployment issues of field hospitals on military missions.
From February 2, 2006, to October 15, 2009, the Canadian Forces Health Services served as the lead nation for the R3MMU. We retrospectively reviewed the electronic and the actual operative database during this timeframe to assess surgical workload, types of surgical procedures performed, and the involved anatomic regions of the surgical procedures.
During this timeframe, there were 6,735 operative procedures performed on 4,434 patients. The majority of our patients were Afghan nationals, with Afghan civilians representing 34.8%, Afghan National Security Forces 31.6%, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces 25.3%. The number of operative procedures by specialty were 3,329 in orthopedic surgery (49.4%), 2,053 general surgery (30.5%), 930 oral maxillofacial surgery (13.8%), and 272 neurosurgery (6%). The most frequently operated on body region was the soft tissue, followed by the extremities and then the abdomen. Thoracic operations were very infrequent.
Our operative data were slightly different from historical controls. Hopefully, this data will help with planning for future deployments of field hospitals on military missions.