Here's an operation worthy of Hawkeye.
September 20, 2000 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Here's an operation worthy of Hawkeye. Doctors in combat get presented with some interesting problems sometimes.
posted by Steven Den Beste (7 comments total)
I guess in this case, life imitates art. I remeber that episode of MASH well and this sounds like a replay to a tee.
posted by cowboy at 11:39 AM on September 20, 2000

I mean "remember."
posted by cowboy at 11:40 AM on September 20, 2000

It's not the same. The MASH episode had Hawkeye operating on an enemy soldier and discovered that he was holding a grenade in his hand with the pin already pulled. The problem there was to convince the soldier not to let go of the spoon, but rather to convince him to give the grenade with spoon to the Americans so that someone could take it outside and throw it as far as possible in a direction where it wouldn't harm anyone. That would have been something akin to a "pineapple" grenade.

This was different. In this case, what had happened was that a guy got hit by a round from a "grenade launcher". For people not familiar with it, that name is a bit deceptive.

Such a round would bear no resemblance to what you ordinarily think of as a 'grenade", i.e. a "pineapple" or a "potato masher". Rather, it would look like a miniature artillery shell. A "grenade launcher" is more like a tiny-caliber hand-held artillery piece firing (usually) anti-personnel rounds (or less commonly in combat, smoke or gas).

When in the news you see cops firing tear-gas rounds, the device they're using to do so is a grenade launcher.

An anti-personnel round from a grenade launcher is supposed to explode on impact, but instead it penetrated the guy's body and was stuck in there, but still live and armed. Apparently the deceleration during penetration was sufficiently gentle to not set off the fuse (a kind of sickening concept, if you think about it). Their problem was to get it out of him without setting it off. You work real gentle-like.

A lot of really brave people worked on that guy to save his life. All honor to them. Russian combat medicine isn't as advanced as ours is, but the people working in it care just as much about their soldiers.

Wearing armor or not, you don't want to be near one of those anti-personnel rounds when it goes off; the guys who designed it did their best to make the results as unpleasant as possible.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 3:13 PM on September 20, 2000

Battlefield Surgeon sounds like it would be a wicked first person perspective game. Gripping story, as soon as I got the gist of the link it was pretty easy to imagine the incredible tension those doctors must have endured. Lucky guy.
posted by thirteen at 3:43 PM on September 20, 2000

Someone actually did bring out a game where you played a doctor in an emergency room at a major hospital. A patient would come in, you'd get told about symptoms, you had choices of tests to run and get results back and treatments you could begin but the clock is ticking (it was a real-time game).

This was maybe three or four years ago. I don't recall that it was very successful, although it got pretty good reviews. It's a bit too intellectual for most gamers, I imagine.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:34 PM on September 20, 2000

Steven, I stand corrected. I'll make a note not to comment on your posts in the future for fear of not making an accurate statement.
posted by cowboy at 12:49 PM on September 21, 2000

Oh, I wouldn't go that far; I make just as many mistakes as anyone else on my facts.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 1:21 PM on September 21, 2000

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