Chart of the Week

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I thought it might have been Wednesday’s, where I plotted the amazing growth in U.S. air drops into Afghanistan over the past several years. Then this one stopped me cold. It’s in the Army’s just-released study into the nature and number of U.S. troops wounded in Afghanistan, conducted by the Army’s Dismounted Complex Blast Injury Task Force. KIA means killed in action; DOW means died of wounds; WIA means wounded in action.

Notes the report:

The incidence of dismounted complex blast injuries has increased during the last 15 months of combat in the Afghanistan Theater of Operations (ATO). The number of Service Members with triple limb amputation has nearly doubled this past year from the sum of all those seen over the last eight years of combat. The number of genital injuries increased significantly from previous OIF rates.

The ATO’s most dramatic changes in 2010 were the increased numbers of bilateral thigh amputations, triple and quadruple amputations, and associated genital injuries…IED explosions on dismounted patrols caused the large majority of these injuries, with traumatic amputation of at least one, and often both, lower extremities. It wasn’t uncommon for these amputations to have accompanying GU injuries, penetrating pelvic and abdominal trauma, and an upper extremity amputation or severe injury…When those who sustained major lower limb amputations were matched with those who also sustained genital injuries, the correlation approached 90%.

Post-traumatic stress (PTS) and TBI still play a significant role and add complexity and challenges to the rehabilitation and reintegration of these Warriors.