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Standardizing war trauma surgery - 'Battlefield Docs' converge in Iraq

Balad's Air Force Theater Hospital is a military Level III trauma center, equivalent to a Level I trauma center in the United States, which provides the highest level of surgical care to trauma patients. The most common wounds treated at the hospital are from IED blasts, gunshot wounds, and burns; and chances of survival for seriously wounded patients arriving at the Emergency Department here are very good?in fact, patients have a 98 percent survival rate to the next level of care. The hospital treats an average of 700 patients each month including about 120 U.S. patients, 30 Iraqi soldiers and civilians, and 25 coalition members and third-country nationals each week. Patients who require air evacuation for further care in Germany or the United States usually remain less than 24 hours, and those with great potential for immediate return to duty are kept sometimes up to two days in order to clear them properly for duty. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

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