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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether UK forces in Afghanistan have a guarantee of secondary medical support within an hour following a major injury. (289117)

Medical support in Afghanistan is provided in accordance with Military Medical Doctrine and takes account of the requirements of different types of injury. Operational and medical support planning is done in accordance with these guidelines. This doctrine allows two hours to get the casualty to a primary surgery facility.

All infantry troops are accompanied by a team medic, at a ratio of one to four, who is able to provide Role 1 care; immediate airway and haemorrhage control within 10 minutes. Battle Field Advanced Trauma Life Support (BATLS) is provided to all injured personnel within one hour; the airborne Medical Emergency Response Teams that are dispatched to incidents where casualties have been sustained bring Accident and Emergency (Role 2) level care and resuscitation, including the ability to ventilate patients and give blood during flight, to the front line.

The Allied Command Operations Directive 83-1 (Medical Support to Operations) requires that casualties requiring surgery should be under treatment in a correctly equipped facility, a Role 3 facility such as Camp Bastion Hospital, within two hours of being wounded. We adhere to this directive.