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Heat Illness on Operation Telic in Summer 2003: The Experience of the Heat Illness Treatment Unit in Northern Kuwait
  1. Colonel JPG Bolton, L/RAMC1,
  2. Lieutenant Colonel PH Gilbert, RAMC2 and
  3. Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Brando C C Tamayo3
  1. 1Medical Services Department, Ministry of Defence, London WC1A 2SH 0207 305 4680 0207 305 4099 phil.bolton447{at}
  2. 2256 (City of London) Field Hospital (Volunteers) 71 Braganza Street, London SE17 3RF
  3. 3Department of Anaesthesia, Salisbury District Hospital, Odstock Road, Salisbury SP2 8BJ


In the mid-summer months of June and July of 2003 some 6000 British Troops deployed to northern Kuwait to heat acclimatise in preparation for the relief of Forces then deployed in Iraq who had recently fought in Operation Telic. This paper outlines the clinical presentations and primary care management of heat illness as seen at a specialist Heat Illness Unit that had been collocated with the acclimatisation camps. It discusses the limitations within current MOD heat illness guidance and makes general recommendations for future deployments. Whilst it was seen that the perception of risk by senior Commanders and the predeployment preparation was correct, the extreme temperatures seen, averaging 46ºC, still resulted in a heat illness rate of 50/1000 during the first 10-14 days of deployment.

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