A retrospective cohort analysis of battle injury versus disease, non-battle injury—two validating flight surgeons’ experience

William P. Butler, Lawrence W. Steinkraus, Brittany L. Fouts, Jennifer L. Serres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Today, military combat medical care is the best it has ever been. Regulated U.S. Air Force aeromedical evacuation (AE) is one important reason. The Theater Validating Flight Surgeon (TVFS) validates that a patient is ready for flight. Two TVFSs’ experiences, successively deployed in 2007, are the focus of this study. A unique operational worksheet used to manage the AE queue was used for approximately 5 months. A descriptive analysis of the worksheet’s 1,389 patients found the majority male (94%), median age 30 years, and mostly Army enlisted soldiers (63%). U.S. civilians made up 9%. Battle Injury (55%) surpassed Disease, Non-Battle Injury (45%); most frequently seen were extremity injuries (73%) and cardiac illness (31%), respectively. Common to both Battle Injury and Disease, Nonbattle Injury were several TVFS prescriptions including no “remain overnights” (79%), head of bed elevation (78%), cabin altitude restriction (57%), no stops (44%), Critical Care Air Transport Team (27%), and supplemental oxygen (22%). This study is a first look at the TVFS experience and it offers up an initial accounting of the TVFS clinical and prescriptive practices. It is also a jumping point for future TVFS investigations using the available AE databases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary Medicine
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this