I HAVE LONG BEEN SCEPTICAL OF THE RAPID EVACUATION OF THE WOUNDED—OFTEN OVER VERY CONSIDERABLE DISTANCES—BY AIR
It suits the system—and makes for good public relations—but does it suit the patient?
WHY SO? BECAUSE FLYING (as most of us know first-hand) EVEN WHEN YOU ARE FIT AND WELL, IS PHYSICALLY STRESSFUL—JUST IN ITSELF.
Read and sweat. How many have been harmed in this macho, thoughtless, way? It is a very large number.
Why evacuating wounded troops by air might do more harm than good
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff November 30 at 12:01 AM
Over the last 15 years, the United States has flown its wounded troops out of combat zones to hospitals around the globe. The logic: get those hurt in places where medical supplies are limited to places where they are not. The fastest way to do this? By air.
Yet according to a new, first-of-its-kind study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, rapid air evacuation has the potential to cause more damage to those patients suffering from an extremely prevalent battlefield affliction–traumatic brain injury.
More than 330,000 U.S. service members have suffered from traumatic brain injuries, one of the leading causes of death and disability for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the study that was published Monday in The Journal of Neurotrama.
The study, funded by a $2.5 million U.S. Air Force grant, was helmed by Alan Faden, a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.