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Medical News & Perspectives |

Combat Injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan Help Rewrite the Book on War Surgery

Carolyn J. Hildreth, MD
JAMA. 2009;301(18):1866-1867. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.603.
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A new war surgery manual is being written every day in Iraq and Afghanistan by surgeons treating soldiers and civilians injured in these conflicts.

The weapons used in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, such as improvised explosive devices, inflict blast, bullet, and burn injuries that result in severe polytrauma.

Like previous manuals from wartime, surgeons have been informed by the experiences of those on the front lines. The tactics of the opponent, the defenses available to the soldiers, and the tools available for diagnosis and treatment are shaping the current approaches used by physicians serving in modern conflicts, explained Rocco Armonda, MD, a neurosurgeon and colonel in the US Army. Armonda described his experience treating soldiers and civilians injured in the Iraq war at the 94th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

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The weapons used in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, such as improvised explosive devices, inflict blast, bullet, and burn injuries that result in severe polytrauma.

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