Local Trauma Surgeon Returns from German Hospital that Treats Wounded American Soldiers
A local trauma surgeon operates on traumatically-injured American troops at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. He explains how the American medical system can learn from the efficiency
Tom Fudge: In Iraq, there have been 3,000-4,000 American deaths. According to the Pentagon, there have been nearly 30,000 American war-related injuries. Some administration critics say the injury estimate is too low. In fact, there have been controversies over whether troops with post traumatic stress are being counted among the injured.
The fact is that medical treatment and body armor are saving many American lives. And that means the ratio of injured to dead is much higher in Iraq than it was in, for instance, Vietnam. But injuries to lower limbs and brain injuries are taking a great toll. The scandal over treatment at Walter Reed Hospital shows that the veterans’ medical system has been overtaxed and, at times, not up to the job.
- Dr. Brent Eastman, chief medical officer, corporate senior vice president, and trauma surgeon for Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. He is also the N. Paul Whittier Chair of Trauma at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.