Trauma experience comparison of army forward surgical team surgeons at Ben Taub Hospital and Madigan Army Medical Center

Ronald J. Place, Clifford A. Porter, Kenneth Azarow, Alan L. Beitler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose Far forward life-saving surgical care is the mission of an army forward surgical team (FST). Trauma skill maintenance is necessary to complete that mission. A new program has been developed for FST training using the resources of a Level 1 trauma center. We sought to compare the experience of FST surgeons at a major urban trauma center with the yearly trauma experience at an army Level 2 trauma center. Methods General surgeons of the 250th FST prospectively tabulated data for trauma patients during a September 1999 unit deployment to Ben Taub Hospital (Houston, Texas). Data collected included nature and location of injury, hospital admission, and surgical intervention. During 1999, similar data were collected at Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC) (Ft. Lewis, Washington), home station of the 250th and Level 2 trauma center since November 1998. Results The FST general surgeons observed 319 injuries. Of those injured, 104 were admitted and 19 underwent urgent operation. Direct participation by FST general surgeons in the operative procedures varied. In 1999, MAMC general surgeons treated 455 trauma victims in direct supervision of Army general surgery residents. Madigan Army Medical Center general surgeons admitted 304 and urgently operated on 57 trauma patients, while 107 patients were transferred to another institution for definitive management of orthopedic and nonoperative neurosurgical injuries. CONCLUSIONS: The volume of trauma surgical cases at MAMC during 1999 was 3 times that seen in the 1-month rotation at Ben Taub. General surgeons performed more trauma and abdominal surgery at MAMC with significantly more direct involvement in patient care and operative procedures. The experience of the 250th FST does not justify trauma sustainment deployments for surgeons from military trauma centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Army forward surgical team
  • Joint trauma training center
  • Military trauma
  • Trauma sustainment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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