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British Military Experience of Pre-Hospital Paediatric Trauma in Afghanistan
  1. N Walker, Specialist Trainee in Emergency Medicine,
  2. Lt Col RJ Russell, RAMC, Senior Lecturer in Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine and
  3. TJ Hodgetts, Defence Professor of Emergency Medicine3
  1. 3all from the Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham
  1. Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham Research Park Vincent Drive, Birmingham B15 2SQ 0121 415 8848 SenLecEM.ADMEM{at}


Introduction Trauma is a leading cause of death in children. Life support courses have been developed to reduce the mortality and morbidity of children suffering trauma; differences in anatomy and physiology may produce different injury patterns to adults when children are exposed to trauma, challenging the care providers.

Methods A retrospective analysis of all paediatric patients transported by the helicopter-borne MERT between 01 May 2006 and 31 December 2007 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Results 78 children were brought in over the study period by the MERT team representing 7.3% of MERT casualties and 2.2% of the total seen in the Emergency Department. Breakdown by demographics, triage category, mechanism of injury, and treatment is given.

Conclusion A significant number of paediatric patients are treated by the deployed pre-hospital team. All military pre-hospital care providers should gain training and experience in the care of the seriously injured child prior to deployment.

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