Developing Collaboration to Eliminate Preventable Death on the Battlefield

Research Paper Title

Analysis of injury patterns and roles of care in US and Israel militaries during recent conflicts: Two are better than one.


As new conflicts emerge and enemies evolve, military medical organisations worldwide must adopt the ‘lessons learned.’ In this study, the researchers describe roles of care (ROCs) deployed and injuries sustained by both US and Israeli militaries during recent conflicts. The purpose of this collaborative work is facilitate exchange of medical data among allied forces in order to advance military medicine and facilitate strategic readiness for future military engagements that may involve less predictable situations of evacuation and care, such as prolonged field care.


This retrospective study was conducted for the periods of 2003 to 2014 from data retrieved from the Department of Defence Trauma Registry and the Israel Defence Force (IDF) Trauma Registry. Comparative analyses included ROC capabilities, casualties who died of wounds, as well as mechanism of injury, anatomical wound distribution, and Injury Severity Score of US and IDF casualties during recent conflicts.


Although concept of ROCs was similar among militaries, the IDF supports increased capabilities at point of injury and Role 1 including the presence of physicians, but with limited deployment of other ROCs; conversely, the US maintains fewer capabilities at Role 1 but utilised the entire spectrum of care, including extensive deployment of Roles 2/2+, during recent conflicts. Casualties from US forces (n = 19,005) and IDF (n = 2,637) exhibited significant differences in patterns of injury with higher proportions of casualties who died of wounds in the US forces (4%) compared with the IDF (0.6%).


As these data suggest deployed ROCs and injury patterns of US and Israeli militaries were both conflict and system specific. The researchers envision that identification of discordant factors and common medical strategies of the two militaries will enable strategic readiness for future conflicts as well as foster further collaboration among allied forces with the overarching universal goal of eliminating preventable death on the battlefield.


Antebi, B., Benov, A., Mann-Salinas, E.A., Le, T.D., Cancio, L.C., Wenke, J.C., Paran, H., Yitzhak, A., Tarif, B., Gross, K.R., Dagan, D. & Glassberg, E. (2016) Analysis of Injury Patterns and Roles of Care in US and Israel Militaries during recent Conflicts: Two are better than One. The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2016 Nov;81(5 Suppl 2 Proceedings of the 2015 Military Health System Research Symposium):S87-S94.


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