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Afghanistan: Casualties

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 12 November 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the non-battlefield casualty rates amongst Her Majesty's armed forces serving in Afghanistan compared with those for similar units serving in the United Kingdom. [HL5670]

Non-battlefield casualty rates among the Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan are published monthly by Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) and are publicly available at

Patients admitted at field hospitals in Afghanistan for non-battlefield injuries are as follows:


Total field hospital admissions

Of which admissions for disease and non-battle injuries










1 Jan to 15 Oct 2009



These data include all UK personnel (military and civilian) admitted to any field hospital, whether operated by UK or coalition medical facilities.

To provide a comparison between units serving in Afghanistan and those serving in the UK, some comparison can be made by comparing information regarding very seriously injured (VSI) and seriously injured (SI) casualties.

For the period 15 October 2008 to 14 April 2009 (HERRICK 9), 36 UK Armed Forces personnel had an initial notification of casualty (NOTICAS) listing of VSI or SI which occurred during operations in Afghanistan, a rate of 4.4 per 1,000 troops deployed. All of these were a result of hostile action; no non-battlefield VSI or SI casualties were recorded in Afghanistan for this period.

For the same time period, 57 UK Armed Forces personnel—wherever serving, from all services—had an initial NOTICAS listing of VSI or SI as a result of non-operational injuries, giving a rate of 0.3 per 1,000 strength. Of these 57 cases, 40 occurred in the UK.

Some injuries or illnesses suffered by personnel serving in the United Kingdom are treated by non-MoD facilities. Particularly if of a more minor nature, these would not necessarily be captured centrally by MoD record systems. Consequently, a fuller answer would involve disproportionate cost to compile.