Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Medicine, Surgery, and Doctrine on the battlefield

An AP article about the military medical system in Iraq shows the success of all the work we did in learning the medical lessons of Viet Nam, and devising new and more succesful ways to save life and limb. I feel a burst of pride as I read about the plans and procedures we in the Army Medical Department put together over the years of our careers and the success in now saving nine of every ten severely wounded. As the Instapundit says - read the whole thing:

By mid-November, 10,369 American troops had been wounded in battle in Afghanistan or Iraq, and 1,004 had died -- a survival rate of roughly 90 percent. In the Vietnam War, one in four wounded died, virtually all of them before they could reach MASH units some distance from the fighting.

Today in Iraq, real-life Hawkeyes and B.J. Hunnicuts have stripped trauma surgery to its most basic level, carrying ``mini-hospitals'' in six Humvees and field operating kits in five backpacks so they can move with troops and do surgery on the spot.

``Within an hour, we drop the tents and set up the OR tables, and we can pretty much start operating immediately,'' said Peoples, whose photographs are in the medical journal.


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