HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Genitourniary Trauma in the Military: Impact, Prevention, and Recommendations

Article

This brief focuses on multiple levels of prevention to describe the problem of genitourniary trauma and identify areas for improvement in preventing this problem.

Abstract

During the recent conflicts in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn, the increased reliance on dismounted patrols and frequent exposure to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have amplified the presence of a relatively new type of trauma – genitourinary (GU) trauma.1-3 The GU system includes genitals, bladder, urinary tract, and kidneys. It is estimated that approximately 12 percent of war injuries involve some kind of GU trauma.2 In general, advanced technology, medicine, and equipment have boosted survival rates and many service members return home injured.4-8 Despite the increasing presence of GU trauma over the last decade, its impact on sexual, reproductive, psychological, and relationship functioning remains understudied. Here we provide a brief overview of GU trauma and the association with physical, psychological, and sexual challenges. This brief focuses on multiple levels of prevention to describe the scope of the problem and identify areas for improvement. As part of the discussion, specific policy recommendations and application strategies are provided.

Full Reference

Wilcox, S. L., Schuyler, A. and Hassan, A. M., 2015. Genitourniary Trauma in the Military: Impact, Prevention, and Recommendations. CIR Policy Brief.