"My wife's going to be pissed. She specifically gave me instructions not to get perforated..."
April 1, 2006 1:52 PM Subscribe
Stitching Together Lives Torn Apart. In a war with no fixed front, military hospitals in Iraq are closer than ever to the places where American troops are felled — most often by roadside bombs, but also by rockets, mortars and gunshots. Many of the most seriously wounded would have died in previous wars. In Vietnam, soldiers often bled to death before reaching a hospital. Because the wounded in Iraq are evacuated so quickly, 96% of those who make it alive to the Balad and Baghdad hospitals are saved. On the battlefield, medics are better-prepared. The lowliest grunt is given specialized lifesaver training. New blood-clotting agents and improved field bandages have helped save lives. The amputation rate in Iraq is double that of previous wars. Many soldiers face the rest of their lives without arms or legs, or with severe brain damage. The LATimes special reporting: The Lifeline (graphic photo), part one of three.
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