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Peacekeepers suffered combat-related injuries in Mali: a retrospective, descriptive study
  1. Zhao Yongqiang1,
  2. H Dousheng2,
  3. L Yanning3,
  4. M Xin4 and
  5. W Kunping5
  1. 1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, General Hospital of Jinan Military Command, Jinan, China
  2. 2 Outpatient Department of the Northern Theater Army Staff, General Hospital of Jinan Military Command, Jinan, China
  3. 3 Department of Thyroid & Breast Surgery, General Hospital of Jinan Military Command, Jinan, China
  4. 4 Department of Stomatology, General Hospital of Jinan Military Command, Jinan, China
  5. 5 Department of laboratory diagnosis, General Hospital of Jinan Military Command, Jinan, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr W Kunping; hllw201836{at}


Purpose To describe the combat-related injuries cured by Chinese Level 2 medical treatment facility (CHN L2) in Mali from 1 March 2016 to 1 March 2018, including type of weapon, mortality, nature of injuries, degree and location of injuries and surgical procedures.

Methods A retrospective, descriptive study of 176 injured cases that met the terrorist attacks was conducted. The medical data were collected by an electronic database system. All collected data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet for calculation.

Results We found that improvised explosive devices (114/176, 65%) were the most commonly used weapons of attack in Mali. 68.75% of the injuries (121/176) were classified as 'minor injuries according to Abbreviated Injury Scale score. As one patient may suffer multiple injuries, each location and nature of injuries was counted separately. Surface injuries were the top (116/197, 58.88%), followed by orthopaedic injuries (52/197, 26.39%) and internal injuries (29/197, 14.72%). The extremities were the most frequently injured body parts (144/197, 73.09%). We operated 175 surgeries to deal with the 176 combat-related injuries, which accounted for 40.05% of all 437 surgeries. The surgical debridement to remove fragments of explosive was the most frequently performed surgery. We also admitted 20 cases (18/176, 34%) into intensive care unit and transferred 40 cases to Level 3 medical facility.

Conclusion Peacekeepers taking protective measures for head and trunk frequently got surface injuries. And their unprotected extremities often got injured. The fragment removal was the top surgery and the damage control surgery was the highly technical nature surgery we performed. Chinese military should offer advanced surgical training course to military surgeons who carry out overseas operations.

  • peacekeeper
  • terrorist attack
  • injury
  • surgery
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  • Contributors ZY is in charge of the design of the manuscript. HD should be considered co-first author, in charge of the data collection and drafting the manuscript. LY and MX are in charge of data collection. WK makes important changes to the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

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

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