On Distant Battlefields, Survival Odds Rise Sharply
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.
The rising survival rate, now touching 95% for those who live long enough to get medical treatment, is in turn introducing new problems caring for patients with serious and chronic injuries, including multiple amputations and brain damage. The cost of treating such lasting injuries will be borne by the U.S. medical system for decades to come.
Phi Beta Iota: This brilliantly crafted article by Alan Cullison captures the genius and compassion of America at its best–sadly, starkly, it also highlights the idiocy of omission, the complete failure of American leaders to craft–or of the public to demand–clarity, integrity, and sustainability in our strategic goals and operational campaigns. Our soldiers give their honor for causes manufactured by politicians, appointees, and policy wonks who lack honor in every respect–they are drones, glad to have a job, pretentious in confusing their titles with value-added anything. Our brave men and women of the armed forces are giving their limbs–as this article documents, more often than not, three of four limbs–for a government that in relation to its potential, is the most corrupt in the history of the United States of America.