June 1, 2018

12-year analysis of nonbattle injuries in US service members

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

Approximately one-third of casualties during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars resulted from nonbattle injuries (NBIs), this study finds.

In this analysis of 29,958 casualties (battle injuries and NBIs), NBIs caused 34.1% of total casualties and 11.5% of all deaths. Rates of NBIs were higher among women than men (63.2% vs 33.1%).

A higher proportion of NBIs occurred in members of the Air Force (66.3%) and Navy (48.3%) than in the Army (34.7%) and Marine Corps (25.7%).

Among the leading causes of NBIs:

  • Falls (21.3%)
  • Motor vehicle crashes (18.8%)
  • Machinery or equipment accidents (12.6%)
  • Blunt objects (10.8%)
  • Gunshot wounds (7.1%)
  • Sports (6.8%).

Understanding and monitoring NBIs could reduce the injury burden sustained during war and may be useful in guiding targeted safety interventions, the authors say.

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