Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Medicine, Surgery, and Doctrine on the battlefield
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.