Aim To audit all paediatric attendances to a British Army Field Hospital during warfighting.
Population All patients <16-years-old who presented to 34 Field Hospital Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department during warfighting phase of OP TELIC (27 Mar 03 to 01 May 03).
Method A retrospective analysis of A&E attendance register, A&E clinical records, and A&E trainees’ logbooks from the department of 34 Field Hospital.
Results Seventy eight children were treated, mean age 7.9 years. 65.4% were male and 34.6% female. Children accounted for 2.9% of all patients (total attendances 2720) and 32.9% of noncoalition patients (non-coalition attendances 237). 44 (56%) children had burns as the principal injury; 7 (9%) had shrapnel injuries, 5 (6%) had blunt trauma from a road traffic accident. Only one child had GSW. 17% of attendances were related to ‘medical’ complaints rather than trauma. 78% of children required transfer to a specialist facility.
Conclusions Recognition of the potential for paediatric casualties is required to facilitate appropriate planning, training and equipping of medical units deployed on future operations.
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