"Forward Resuscitative Surgery in Operation Iraqi Freedom"
(See H. R. Bohman, B. C. Baker, R. A. Stevens, pp. 73-76, February 2004 Proceedings)
Captain Robin I. Davidson, M.D., U.S. Naval Reserve, Department of Neurosurgery, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth-The forward resuscitative surgery systems in Iraqi Freedom repeatedly have proved an effective means of providing stabilization and life-saving intervention in settings previously untenable for overt surgical intervention. These successes and those of the forward-deployed surgical companies raise at least two further issues. The first is related to the long-term mortality and morbidity secondary to infection. At first glance, operating in a tent with dirt flooring and sand dust in the air might be expected to lead to increased wound infection, and suggest that if that is confirmed on long-term follow-up, a transportable, closed operating environment might reduce this risk. Such systems are currently available, and mechanisms to follow up to determine infection rates need to be firmly in place to be able to acquire those data.