US Navy fleet hospitals can be deployed to any global location to support combat operations. In February of 2003, Fleet Hospital Eight was deployed to Rota, Spain to support operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Fleet Hospital cared for Americans evacuated from more forward deployed military medical facilities in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and ships at sea.
Throughout the deployment the authors collected patient demographic data for all admissions to the intensive care unit, ICU. After returning to the United States, these data were reviewed and analyzed.
153 patients were admitted to the intensive care unit. Average length of stay was slightly longer than three days. The patients were overwhelmingly male. Most were between 21 and 35 years of age with a mean age of 32 years. Patients served in all branches of military service, but most were from the army. Officers were treated in the ICU, but most patients were enlisted. The majority of patients were admitted to the medical service and chest pain was the most common diagnosis. A significant number of patients had ischemic heart disease confirmed by cardiac enzymes or exercise stress testing, but the majority of chest pain patients were returned to duty in Iraq or Kuwait. Trauma was the second most common diagnosis. Extremity trauma was the most frequent type, but polytrauma was nearly as common. In addition to critical care, the ICU functioned as a post anesthesia care unit and short stay unit for procedures under conscious sedation. 362 such procedures and recoveries were performed.
Fleet hospital intensive care units function to evaluate and treat a variety of critical illnesses for a wide variety of patients.
Planning for future Fleet Hospital Deployments will consider these demographics.
W.L. Boyan, None.