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Canadian Journal of Surgery





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Background: The Canadian Armed Forces deployed a Role 2 Medical Treatment Facility (R2MTF) to Iraq in November 2016 as part of Operation IMPACT. We compared the multinational interoperability required of this R2MTF with that of similar facilities previously deployed by Canada or other nations.

Methods: We reviewed data (Nov. 4, 2016, to Oct. 3, 2017) from the electronic Disease and Injury Surveillance Report and the Daily Medical Situation Report. Clinical activity was stratified by Global Burden of Diseases category, ICD-10 code, mechanism of injury, services used, encounter type, nationality and blood product usage. We reviewed the literature to identify utilization profiles for other MTFs over the last 20 years.

Results: In total, 1487 patients were assessed. Of these, 5.0% had battle injuries requiring damage-control resuscitation and/or damage-control surgery, with 55 casualties requiring medical evacuation after stabilization. Trauma and disease non-battle injuries accounted for 44% and 51% of patient encounters, respectively. Other than dental conditions, musculoskeletal disorders accounted for most presentations. Fifty-seven units of fresh frozen plasma and 64 units of packed red blood cells were used, and the walking blood bank was activated 7 times. Mass casualty activations involved coordination of health care and logistical resources from more than 12 countries. In addition to host nation military and civilian casualties, patients from 15 different countries were treated with similar frequency.

Conclusion: The experience of the Canadian R2MTF in Iraq demonstrates the importance of multinational interoperability in providing cohesive medical care in coalition surgical facilities. Multinational interoperability derives from a unique relationship between higher medical command collaboration, international training and adherence to common standards for equipment and clinical practice.

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