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Descriptive analysis of the medical care performed in the Spanish military Role 1 Medical Treatment Facility deployed in Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ (Iraq), 2015–2016
  1. Rafael García Cañas1,2 and
  2. R Navarro Suay2,3
  1. 1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Hospital Central de la Defensa Gómez Ulla, Madrid, Spain
  2. 2 Joint Institute of Biosanitary Research of Defense (IMIDEF), Madrid, Spain
  3. 3 Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Treatment, Hospital Central de la Defensa Gómez Ulla, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Capt Rafael García Cañas, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Hospital Central de la Defensa Gomez Ulla, Madrid, Spain; rgarc18{at}


Introduction Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ was approved by the United Nations in August 2014 with the objective of suppressing the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and increasing the region’s stability. The mission of the Spanish military forces within this was to direct training missions for the Iraqi Army. The aim of this study is to analyse the medical care provided in the Spanish Role 1 deployed medical treatment facility during Operation ‘Apoyo a Irak’.

Methods A cross-sectional, descriptive and retrospective study was conducted between 15 December 2015 and 18 November 2016. The study population comprised all personnel treated at the Spanish Role 1 medical treatment facility of the ‘Gran Capitan’ base in Besmaya, Iraq.

Results During the study period, a total of 2208 consultations were performed, 1547 of which were first consultations. The predominant type of medical care was categorised as ‘traumatology’ (n=438; 19.8%), followed by ‘healing of wounds and minor surgical processes’ (n=332; 15%), ‘acute upper respiratory tract infections’ (n=267; 12%), ‘dermatology’ (n=214; 9.6%) and ‘gastroenterology’ (n=214; 9.6%). Twenty-eight patients (1.2%) required care in the upper medical echelon of care, three of whom were urgently evacuated. Oral diseases were the main reason for evacuation to the next medical echelon. Four patients were repatriated to the national territory for medical reasons. One death was recorded due to a vehicle accident.

Conclusions The results of our study reinforce those found in similar recent international missions in which the Spanish Armed Forces and other allied armies have deployed a Role 1 medical treatment facility. Military physicians deploying on operations such as Iraq should have up-to-date training in emergency and primary care medicine, with special emphasis on basic trauma knowledge and performing minor surgical processes.

  • spanish medical corps
  • operation inherent resolve
  • military medicine
  • role 1
  • iraq

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics Committee of the Central Hospital of Defense ‘Gómez Ulla’.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.