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Iraq: Loss of Limbs

Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many military personnel serving in the present engagement in Iraq have lost a limb due to combat; and what were the circumstances in each case.[HL7536]

Information on the number of military personnel serving in Iraq who have lost a limb due to combat is not held centrally. To find this number would require the examination of the individual medical records of each patient who has been classified as very seriously injured (VSI) or seriously injured (SI) in Iraq. These records can be viewed for non-clinical reasons only with the express consent of the individual concerned, to protect patient confidentiality.

The Ministry of Defence publishes data on battle and non-battle casualties that resulted from our operations in Iraq from March 2003. The centrally available casualty statistics can be found on the Ministry of Defence website ( Sheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInIraqBritishCasualties.htm).

Between March 2003 and 31 December 2005,40 UK military and civilian personnel were categorised by the notification of casualty system as VSI from all causes, and 70 personnel have been categorised as SI from all causes in Iraq. These figures will include those who lost a limb due to combat but also other VSIs and SIs sustained as a result of combat and non-combat injuries.

Between 1 January and 30 September 2006, three UK personnel were categorised as VSI and seven as SI from all causes excluding disease. As above, these figures will include those who lost a limb due to combat, but also other VSI and SIs from combat and non-combat causes.