Introduction Diseases and non-battle injuries (DNBIs) are common on UK military deployments, but the collection and analysis of clinically useful data on these remain a challenge. Standard medical returns do not provide adequate clinical information, and clinician-led approaches have been laudable, but not integrated nor standardised nor used long-term. Op TRENTON is a novel UK military humanitarian operation in support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, which included the deployment of UK military level 1 and level 2 medical treatment facilities at Bentiu to provide healthcare for UK and United Nations (UN) personnel.
Methods A service evaluation of patient consultations and admissions at the UK military level 2 hospital was performed using two data sets collected by the emergency department (ED) and medicine (MED) teams.
Results Over a three-month (13-week) period, 286 cases were seen, of which 51% were UK troops, 29% were UN civilians and 20% were UN troops. The ED team saw 175 cases (61%) and provided definitive care for 113 (40%), whereas the MED team saw and provided definitive care for 128 cases (45%). Overall, there were 75% with diseases and 25% with non-battle injuries. The most common diagnoses seen by the ED team were musculoskeletal injuries (17%), unidentified non-malarial undifferentiated febrile illness (UNMUFI) (17%), malaria (13%), chemical pneumonitis (13%) and wounds (8%). The most common diagnoses seen by the MED team were acute gastroenteritis (AGE) (56%), UNMUFI (12%) and malaria (9%). AGE was due to viruses (31%), diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (32%), other bacteria (6%) and protozoa (12%).
Conclusion Data collection on DNBIs during the initial phase of this deployment was clinically useful and integrated between different departments. However, a standardised, long-term solution that is embedded into deployed healthcare is required. The clinical activity recorded here should be used for planning, training, service development and targeted research.
- disease and non-battle injuries
- acute gastroenteritis
- fever of unknown origin
- military personnel
- south sudan
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Contributors All authors treated the patients. MSB, IG, JL, JSB and NEH collected the data. MSB and IG drafted the manuscript, which was reviewed by all authors. MSB is the guarantor.
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.
Disclaimer The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of the Defence Medical Services, Ministry of Defence or British Government.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval This service evaluation project was approved by the deployed clinical audit committee, and all data collected were anonymised and stored securely according to the Caldicott principles.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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