BACKGROUND: The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has had a profound effect on battlefield trauma in the 21st century. Historically, wounds to the genitourinary (GU) structures have been less common than extremity and penetrating abdominal trauma in combat operations. GU injury incidence, severity, and associated injuries secondary to the use of this weapon in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom has not been described. METHODS: Data from the Department of Defense Trauma Registry was reviewed for combat-related GU injuries in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom from 2001 to 2011. All wounded US armed service members are included in this database. Subjects were selected by a query of current procedural terminology and DRG International Classification of DiseasesV9th Rev. codes related to traumatic injury of the penis, scrotum, testicles, and urethra. A retrospective chart review was performed for each patient to identify the date of injury, the mechanism of injury, and the associated traumatic wounds. Subjects' follow-up records were reviewed until present time or separation from active duty. RESULTS: A total of 501 soldiers sustained lower GU trauma, with a total of 729 injuries. Of these casualties, 448 (89%) werewounded by IEDs. Dismounted injuries (87%) made up more of the cohort than did vehicular. Specific trauma sites include 149 (20%) penile, 260 (36%) testicular, 284 (39%) scrotal, and 36 (5%) urethral injuries. The 180 limb amputations (36%) and 86 fractures (17%) were the most encountered concomitant skeletal wounds among service members with GU injuries. CONCLUSION: This is the first review of all lower GU trauma sustained by all US armed service members in current overseas combat operations. Combat-related lower GU trauma is primarily caused by IEDs in the spectrum of complex dismounted blast injuries. The mechanism primarily results in multisysteminjury, with isolated GUinvolvement being uncommon. Continued evaluation of long-term sequelae, including sexual, urinary, and reproductive dysfunction, is needed. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016;80: 131-134.
- Improvised explosive devices
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine