High non-war injury evacuations in Iraq

NON-MILITARY personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have higher rates of medical evacuation for non-war-related injuries compared with those in the armed forces, but are more likely to return to duty, a study shows.

Researchers compared data on 2155 evacuated non-military personnel over a three-year period with previously published information on evacuated military personnel.

Evacuated non-military personnel had mainly musculo-skeletal/spine injuries (19.1%), combat injuries (14.2%) and circulatory disorders (12.6%), whereas evacuated military personnel had musculoskeletal/spine injuries (30.8%), combat injuries (13.9%) and psychiatric diagnoses (9.1%).

Only 2.1% of non-military personnel had psychiatric diagnoses and most of them returned to duty, unlike military personnel with psychiatric diagnoses, of whom fewer than one in 10 returned to duty.

The lower return-to-duty rate may be because service members are ordered to war, whereas