Warrior Care In Iraq Has Led To Medical Advances

Warrior Care In Iraq Has Led To Medical Advances
March 23rd, 2009  
Team Infidel

Topic: Warrior Care In Iraq Has Led To Medical Advances

Warrior Care In Iraq Has Led To Medical Advances
March 22, 2009

CNN Newsroom, 4:00 PM
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD: The next time you head to an emergency room, the care you receive may be due to medical breakthroughs made possible by the war in Iraq. CNN's Nic Robertson shows us what doctors are learning from this war's wounded.
LT. COL. TERESA RYAN, U.S. AIR FORCE: Yes, this is a volunteer, and he has the infrared camera set up here.
NIC ROBERTSON: This device -- this infrared? An infrared camera that can save soldiers' lives, installed barely two weeks ago.
RYAN: Go ahead, and we're going to reduce the circulation in one leg.
ROBERTSON: We are being shown cutting-edge research at the United States' foremost military hospital in Iraq, Joint Base Balad.
RYAN: The leg is getting darker.
ROBERTSON: Already, this equipment is being used on wounded troops to detect body temperature, helping protect against potentially fatal compartment syndrome.
RYAN: If it's not treated, not detected, it could lead to an amputation, and, of course, an amputation always increases the risk of death.
ROBERTSON: New techniques are necessary, doctors say, because troops are surviving attacks far better than any previous conflict.
MAJ. JOSEPH DUBOSE, U.S. AIR FORCE: Many of the injuries that we are seeing now patients previously would not have survived in the age prior to our current.
ROBERTSON: Survival at this hospital is 98 percent. And all treatments are being overturned. Tourniquets to stop bleeding once frowned upon are the new standard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fast transport times that people have these days, they're not going to lose that limb. But what we are going to do is prevent them from bleeding to death.
ROBERTSON: Some discoveries have been accidental. In the early days of the war, they didn't have enough blood supplies to treat casualties.
DUBOSE: We call them walking blood banks. Literally, we would call active duty service members to the blood bank to donate blood based on their blood type to the casualties. And we witnessed these patients had fairly good outcomes.
ROBERTSON: These doctors say the success of fresh, whole blood led to new transfusion techniques now adopted by civilians back home.
COL. LIZ BRIDGES, U.S. AIR FORCE: Here we're already starting to see that. For example, the one to one to one blood transfusion therapies that we're doing with our mass casualties, most critically injured, that's being transferred into the civilian literature.
ROBERTSON: What doctors and nurses here are discovering is that the suffering of all the service men and women they care for is adding up to more than individual recoveries; it's also life-saving hope to countless others. But doctors fear the hard-worn lessons of Iraq will be severely tested in Afghanistan, where the battlefields are more rugged and remote.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): We're going to need to come up with a way to transport injured soldiers quickly to some type of major care facility. And that is going to be a problem in Afghanistan.
ROBERTSON: Their worries may be well-founded. Doctors in Balad report their casualties have dropped six fold, and casualties in Afghanistan are showing no signs of slowing.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Balad, Iraq. (END VIDEO CLIP)

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