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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Psychiatric diagnoses as a cause of medical evacuation.

The U.S. military is one of the best trained military organizations in the world. However, war-zone stressors may compromise the psychological resilience of even the most conditioned U.S. service members. The purpose of this study was to investigate the contributing causes for medical evacuation (medevac) during the present war on terrorism. We studied 5,671 cases of medevac reports during Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom (OEF and OIF). Our data indicated that psychiatric problems were among the leading causes of medevacs during this period of time. In fact, during March to September 2003, psychiatric problems accounted for 7% of the medevac cases during OEF and 6% during OIF, ranking among the top five reasons for evacuation from each theater. With the use of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-9), we found that "Top Level Mental Disorders" and "Persons without reported diagnosis encountered during examination and investigation of individuals and populations" were the two main psychiatric reasons for the medevacs. Consequently, mental health researchers, operational commanders, and policy makers should continue developing procedures to mitigate psychiatric problems that translate to personnel loss and readiness decrements on the battlefield.[1]


  1. Psychiatric diagnoses as a cause of medical evacuation. Stetz, M.C., McDonald, J.J., Lukey, B.J., Gifford, R.K. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine. (2005) [Pubmed]
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