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Implementing and preserving the advances in combat casualty care from Iraq and Afghanistan throughout the US Military

Butler, Frank K. MD; Smith, David J. MD; Carmona, Richard H. MD

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: August 2015 - Volume 79 - Issue 2 - p 321–326
doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000000745
Special Report

Thirteen years of continuous combat operations have enabled the US Military and its coalition partners to make a number of major advances in casualty care. The coalition nations have developed a superb combat trauma system and achieved unprecedented casualty survival rates. There remains, however, a need to accelerate the translation of new battlefield trauma care information, training, and equipment to units and individuals deploying in support of combat operations. In addition, the US Military needs to ensure that these advances are sustained during peace intervals and that we continue to build upon our successes as we prepare for future conflicts. This article contains recommendations designed to accomplish those goals. For the proposed actions to benefit all branches of our armed services, the direction will need to come from the Office of the Secretary of Defense in partnership with the Joint Staff. Effective translation of military advances in prehospital trauma care may also increase survival for law enforcement officers wounded in the line of duty and for civilian victims of Active Shooter or terrorist-related mass-casualty incidents.

From the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (F.K.B.), Joint Trauma System; Defense for Force Health Protection and Readiness (D.J.S.); and 17th Surgeon General of the United States (R.H.C.).

The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

Address for reprints: Frank Butler, MD, 4575 Lavallet Lane, Pensacola, FL 32504; email:

© 2015 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.