Get access

Mechanisms of Injury in Wartime


  • Cheryl Lehman PhD RN BC CRRN-A

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Acute nursing care at the University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
    Search for more papers by this author


A significant number of wounded servicemembers are returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the U.S. government finds itself with more wounded servicemembers than its systems can handle, the wounded are beginning to use private rehabilitation facilities. Mechanisms of injury in war are unlike those of most injuries encountered in civilian life. Rehabilitation nurses in both military and private rehabilitation facilities can benefit from learning about the mechanisms of injury in war to better help their patients and anticipate potential and hidden complications. This article reviews the mechanisms of injury in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the unique characteristics of military personnel, and the implications for rehabilitation nurses.