Skip to comments.On Distant Battlefields, Survival Odds Rise Sharply
Posted on 04/02/2010 5:56:34 PM PDT by Saije
Under a dusty hospital tent where doctors yell over the roar of jet engines, Dr. John York studied an electronic image of a blood vessel in the neck of a soldier wounded by an improvised bomb. It looked like a balloon ready to pop. Too delicate to operate on directly. Dr. York would have to try a procedure that had rarely been attempted so close to a battlefield.
Using a sophisticated X-ray machine, he snaked a tube from an artery in the soldier's leg until it reached his neck. Dr. York threaded in a feathery device that popped open and blocked blood from the ballooning artery.
Today that soldier, Specialist Chancellor Alwin, is an outpatient at the army medical hospital in Washington. His only visible scars from the January procedure are a small one near his neck and another in his thigh. His wife, Samantha, says he suffers from moods swings and lingering nerve damage, "but we are thankful he is alive," she says.
Every war brings medical innovations, as horrific injuries force surgeons to come up with new ways to save lives. During the Civil War, doctors learned better ways to amputate limbs, and in World War I they developed the typhoid vaccine. World War II brought the mass use of penicillin, Korea and Vietnam the development of medical evacuation by helicopter.
The lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, medical experts say, are still emerging. One legacy is new ways to control bleeding before soldiers lapse into comas or their vital organs shut down. Thanks to new clotting agents, blood products and advanced medical procedures performed closer to the battlefield, wounded American soldiers are now surviving at a greater rate than in any previous war fought by the U.S.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
We’ve come a wonderfully long ways from the day when the skill of a field surgeon was measured by how fast they could remove a limb.
“Kudos to those saving lives on the battlefield - their far reaches will become the standard of medical practice in the future!”
(Except,of course,that filthy moslem at Ft Hood)
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