About 100 mortally wounded troops a year could have been saved in a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan if more military doctors had been more skilled in trauma care, a top medical organization reports, A proposal under consideration on Capitol Hill is directed at ensuring that military doctors gain and maintain proficiency in those skills by working with civilian trauma centers.
The proposal calls for grants for civilian trauma centers to hire military doctors and staff.
The idea would be to use military medical professionals in the civilian trauma system so both sides could share information about treating patients in life-or-death situations.
“Trauma is an incredibly intense environment when somebody comes in and their life depends on decisions that you’re going to make in a matter of minutes or seconds,” said Col. Jennifer Gurney, an active-duty trauma surgeon with the Army Institute of Surgical Research. “If you’re not doing that regularly, it’s not just your technical skills, it’s your critical thinking skills and decision-making skills” that deteriorate.
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