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Plastic Surgeons and the Management of Trauma: From the JFK Assassination to the Boston Marathon Bombing

Luce, Edward A. M.D.; Hollier, Larry H. Jr. M.D.; Lin, Samuel J. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2013 - Volume 132 - Issue 5 - p 1330–1339
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182a7094c
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Summary: The fiftieth anniversary of the death by assassination of President John Kennedy is an opportunity to pay homage to his memory and also reflect on the important role plastic surgeons have played in the management of trauma. That reflection included a hypothetical scenario, a discussion of the surgical treatment of Kennedy (if he survived) and Governor Connally. The scenario describes the management of cranioplasty in the presence of scalp soft-tissue contracture, reconstruction of the proximal trachea, reconstitution of the abdominal wall, and restoration of a combined radius and soft-tissue defect. The development of diagnostic and therapeutic advances over the past 50 years in the care of maxillofacial trauma is described, including the evolution of imaging, timing of surgery, and operative techniques. Finally, contemporary measures of triage in situations involving mass casualties, as in the Boston Marathon bombings, complete the dedication to President Kennedy.

Memphis, Tenn.; Houston, Texas; and Boston, Mass.

From the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Baylor College of Medicine; and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Received for publication June 10, 2013; accepted July 26, 2013.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Edward A. Luce, M.D., 7945 Wolf River Boulevard, Suite 290, Germantown, Tenn. 38138,

©2013American Society of Plastic Surgeons