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The term “golden hour” describes the first 60 minutes after patients sustain injury. In resource-available settings, rapid transport to trauma centers within this time period is standard-of-care. We compared transport times of injured civilians in modern conflict zones to assess the degree to which injured civilians are transported within the golden hour in these environments.
We evaluated PubMed, Ovid, and Web of Science databases for manuscripts describing transport time after trauma among civilian victims of trauma from January 1990 to November 2017.
The initial database search identified 2704 abstracts. Twenty-nine studies met inclusion and exclusion criteria. Conflicts in Yugoslavia/Bosnia/Herzegovina, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Cambodia, Somalia, Georgia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Turkey were represented, describing 47 273 patients. Only 7 (24%) manuscripts described transport times under 1 hour. Transport typically required several hours to days.
Anticipated transport times have important implications for field triage of injured persons in civilian conflict settings because existing overburdened civilian health care systems may become further overwhelmed if in-hospital health capacity is unable to keep pace with inflow of the severely wounded.
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