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9 out of 10 soldiers survive

Discussion in 'News' started by spectr, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. spectr

    spectr Guest


    For every American soldier killed in Iraq (news - web sites), nine others have been wounded and survived — the highest rate of any war in U.S. history. It isn't that their injuries were less serious, a new report says. In fact, some young soldiers and Marines have had faces, arms and legs blown off and are now returning home badly maimed.

    AP Photo

    But they have survived thanks, in part, to armor-like vests and fast treatment from doctors on the move with surgical kits in backpacks.

    "This is unprecedented. People who lose not just one but two or three extremities are people who just have not survived in the past," said Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston who researched military medicine and wrote about it in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine (news - web sites).

    The journal also published a five-page spread of 21 military photographs that graphically depict the horrific injuries and conditions under which these modern-day MASH surgeons operate.

    "We thought a lot about it," said the journal's editor, Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, and ultimately decided the pictures told an important story.

    "This war is producing unique injuries — less lethal but more traumatic," he said.

    In one traumatic case, Gawande tells of an airman who lost both legs, his right hand and part of his face. "How he and others like him will be able to live and function remains an open question," Gawande writes.

    Kevlar helmets and vests are one reason for the high survival rate.

    "The critical core, your chest and your abdomen, are protected," said Dr. George Peoples, a Walter Reed Army Medical Center surgeon who served in Iraq and Afghanistan (news - web sites). "Parodixically, what we've seen is devastating extremity injuries because people are surviving wounds they otherwise wouldn't have."

    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.

    He's now at Walter Reed in Washington which has treated 150 amputees from the Iraq war. American military hospitals collectively have had 200 amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan, three of them triple amputees.

    The record survival rates in Iraq have been achieved with an astonishingly small number of general surgeons. The entire Army has only about 120 on active duty and a similar number in the reserves. Of these, only 30 to 50 are in Iraq, plus 10 to 15 orthopedic surgeons, to care for 130,000 to 150,000 troops, Gawande reports.

    That's fewer than the 80 general and orthopedic surgeons on staff at two Boston hospitals — Brigham and Massachusetts General.

    "It's a very tight supply," Gawande said of the surgeons in Iraq. "They're now also burdened with civilian Iraqis seeking their help because the U.S. has taken over many Iraqi hospitals."

    Virginia Stephanakis, a spokeswoman for the Army Surgeon General's Office, said Gawande had done excellent research and that his figures on casualties jibe with those on Department of Defense (news - web sites) Web sites, though she wouldn't confirm the number of surgeons in Iraq.

    Gawande and others also credit nurses, anesthetists, helicopter pilots, other transport staff and an entire rethinking of the combat medicine system for soldiers' survival.

    The strategy is damage control, not definitive repair. Field doctors limit surgery to two hours or less, often leaving temporary closures and even plastic bags over wounds, and send soldiers to one of several combat support hospitals in Iraq with services like labs and X-rays.

    "We basically work to save life over limb," said Navy Capt. Kenneth Kelleher, chief of the surgical company at the chief U.S. Marine base near Fallujah. "No frills, nothing complicated. If the injury is not going to be salvageable, we do a rapid amputation, and there have been a fair number of those."

    If soldiers are shipped to a combat support hospital, the maximum stay is three days. If more advanced care is needed, they're sent to hospitals in Landstuhl, Germany, or Kuwait or Spain. If care will be needed for a month or more, they're whisked directly to Walter Reed or Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

    "The average time from battlefield to arrival in the United States is now less than four days. In Vietnam, it was 45 days," Gawande writes.

    John Greenwood, a historian with the Army Surgeon General's office, said the new strategy has made a big difference in survival.

    "Historically, the key change has been the ability to move the wounded man to definitive surgical care," he said.

    Field surgeons moving with troops is the first step. Peoples traveled 1,100 miles throughout southern Iraq and into Baghdad, doing only what was absolutely necessary to save a life and shipping patients out.

    He said he tried to ignore personal danger, like the time his medical team was sent to an evacuated air base in southern Iraq.

    "At least, we thought it was evacuated," he said. In fact, Iraqi soldiers were still being routed out. The medical team was told to pick any of the bombed-out buildings to use as a makeshift hospital. After finishing one surgery, he walked outside and noticed big red X's on all the other buildings warning against entry.

    By sheer luck, he said, "we had chosen the only one that hadn't been booby-trapped."

    As for the soldiers he took pictures of, he had this to say:

    "Every person depicted in those photos survived."

    i wonder how many of these people wish they were dead missing a leg or two half your face, etc, its a new generation of fucked up vets.
  2. SteveAustin

    SteveAustin Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 12, 2002 Messages: 7,042 Likes Received: 2
    I saw something about this on the news the other night.

    What kind of quality of life are these guys gonna have? It'd be nice if you had the option of signing something that basically said if I sustain QOL threatening injuries...let me go.

    I'd never want to live like that.
  3. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    Hey symbols.... come over to walter reed with me one time. You will trip out.

    But yeah I'm hearing numbers more like 20,000 wounded.... it's fucking out of control.
    I'm actually surprised how positive many of these amputees are. Some of them have a better attitude than I do.
  4. <KEY3>

    <KEY3> Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 24, 2004 Messages: 6,878 Likes Received: 2
    how many civilians survive those remaining 9 troops?
  5. Poop Man Bob

    Poop Man Bob Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Nov 16, 2000 Messages: 10,259 Likes Received: 18
    So who here is willing to roll a 10-sided die for that chance to die for a mistake?

    [insert obvious D&D joke]
  6. Æ°

    Æ° Senior Member

    Joined: May 12, 2002 Messages: 1,974 Likes Received: 6
    That article tells me that Americans are dying in an ignorant, illegal, and totally unnecessary war. This is exactly what you hear about on the news.

    One in ten is too much. The problems with this war are so fucking obvious. Too easy.
  7. Nekro

    Nekro Elite Member

    Joined: Feb 19, 2003 Messages: 2,568 Likes Received: 1
    This war is crazy, if the situation with medical care was like wars in the past we'd have tons more casualties.
  8. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2

    I've been saying this since people first started coming back as parapalegics and missing half their heads and shit. This is vietnam in disguise.
  9. SteveAustin

    SteveAustin Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 12, 2002 Messages: 7,042 Likes Received: 2
    Not to sound like a hippy, but ALL WAR IS CRAZY!

    Fuck Bush.

    Fuck Cheney.

    Fuck Everything.
  10. spectr

    spectr Guest

    yeah i am kinda wondering that myself, i mean they dont keep track of iraqi casulties i wonder how many iraqis cant ever work again because they have no hands, no legs, half thier face, this war is fucked we all have known it i just dont understand how the majority of the country doesnt know it yet.

    <!--QuoteBegin-Poop Man Bob
    @Dec 8 2004, 08:21 PM
    So who here is willing to roll a 10-sided die for that chance to die for a mistake?

    [insert obvious D&D joke]
    [post=3745445]Quoted post[/post]​
    well with my boots of missle weapon evasion and my dexterity of 19 i fell pretty good about rolling that die. oh yeah dont forget my gloves of stripping which when used give me a 4 in 10 chance of distracting the enemy so nanoc the erotic will take those chances any day.
  11. robJ

    robJ Member

    Joined: Oct 8, 2004 Messages: 385 Likes Received: 0
    Last I heard :

    1015 troops KIA
    9,800 troops Injured

    When bush was at camp pendleton giving his speech
    He said that 2000 insurgents were killed

    thats little more then a 2/1 ratio...
    that aint winning shit , considering we have a multi-billion dollar military
    and there using junk I couldn't even sale at Pennslyvania Gun show
  12. ledzep

    ledzep Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 21, 2002 Messages: 146 Likes Received: 1
    ^He meant just in Fallujah 2000 insurgents (actually its around 1,200).

    theres no accurate way of knowing how many insurgents were killed, same as there is no way of knowing who is an insurgent and who isn't.
  13. bodice_ripper

    bodice_ripper Elite Member

    Joined: May 10, 2000 Messages: 3,195 Likes Received: 25
    They were sayin on the rado yesterday that figures weren't available for Iraqi deaths and injuries, because US troops have been instructed to prevent journalists from entering hospitals and counting corpses....
  14. robJ

    robJ Member

    Joined: Oct 8, 2004 Messages: 385 Likes Received: 0
    I know the US goverment does keep track of kills..
    I friend of mine just came home from "door knocking in bagdad" His whole unit carry disposable cameras issued by the goverment in order for them to have a photographic record of there kills for UN... ( weird shit huh ?)
  15. alcohol swab

    alcohol swab Member

    Joined: Oct 10, 2004 Messages: 935 Likes Received: 3