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Revista Cubana de Medicina Militar

Print version ISSN 0138-6557On-line version ISSN 1561-3046


PONS MAYEA, Gilberto Orlando  and  LEYVA BASTERRECHEA, Francisco. Special features of amputations in internationalist fighters evacuated during the «Carlota Operation». Rev Cub Med Mil [online]. 2009, vol.38, n.3-4. ISSN 0138-6557.

INTRODUCTION. The war conflicts features have modified the lesions patterns, obeying to the use of explosive devices causing limbs loss, have a complicated course, require a long-term treatment, and are associated to a high mortality. OBJECTIVE. To describe the features and management of Cuban internationalist fighters underwent amputations, evacuated during the «Carlota Operation». METHODS. A cross-sectional, retrospective, descriptive and observational study was conducted in evacuated internationalists from December, 1975 and December, 1989. From total of injured persons of limbs we took a sample including 2 003 fighters, from them we selected all amputees (155; 7.7 %). Main variables were: military specialty, causal agent, anatomic region, type and cause of amputation, surgical procedure, and complications. RESULTS. The more affected specialty was the infantry (40; 25.82 %). There was predominance of patients with upper limbs amputations (89; 57.42 %), mainly of the hands, basically caused by firearms (66; 42.58 %), loss of a segment or lower limb mainly located in legs (37; 23.87 %) and the foot (20, 12.90 %), by mine explosion (45; 29.03 %). The more frequent cause was the severe trauma (139; 89.68 %). There was predominance of open amputations (165; 76, 74%) and of minor type (138; 64.19 %). CONCLUSIONS. Amputees care under conditions of war is still a challenge for military surgeon. Lesions multiplicity increases the status burden and difficult its management. Hemorrhage control, open procedures, debridement and fasciotomy guarantee the life and decrease the sequelae.

Keywords : Amputees; war wounded persons; mines.

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