Developing a Trauma Registry in a Forward Deployed Military Hospital: Preliminary Report

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The 325th Field Surgical Team (FST), a US Army trauma surgical group, was deployed to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Unlike civilian trauma centers, complete trauma registries are lacking from the FST care model.


A trauma registry was created using a commercially available relational database. Data entry was done using a handheld personal data organizer (PDA).


In 82 days, 125 trauma patients were evaluated and treated. The mean age was 23 ± 11.69 and 85 (68%) were local Afghan nationals. Most patients were transported by helicopter (83; 66%); the remaining arrived by ground transportation (42; 34%). The average US military casualty arrival time from injury was 1 hour 38 minutes ±46. The most common injury was gunshot wounds 47(38%) and the mean Injury Severity Score was 9, with 29 (23%) patients scoring ≥15. Initial mean vitals were systolic blood pressure (SBP); 119 ± 23.7, heart rate; 103 ± 7.35, respiratory rate; 20 ± 7.35, and temperature (°C); 36.6 ± 1.6. The median Glasgow Coma Scale was 15, and presenting mean hematocrit and base deficit were 35 ± 9.56 and −5.02 ± 5.03, respectively. Operative procedures were performed in 54 (43.2%) patients, and the mean time to surgery from admission was 80 ± 11.5 minutes. The most common operative procedure was debridement or completion of amputation of lost limb debridement and completion of amputations (13). The average length of stay was 4.37 ± 2.88 days. The mortality rate was 8%.


The collection of comprehensive prospective data using a PDA can be an efficient and effective method in expanding trauma base registries in forward deployed surgical units.

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