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Book and Media Reviews
August 3, 2011

Damage Control Management in the Polytrauma Patient

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Surgery and Public Health, Alfred Hospital; and National Trauma Research Institute, Monash University, Victoria, Australia (

JAMA. 2011;306(5):552-553. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1074

Damage control is a naval term first used during World War II to describe emergency measures for control of flooding that threatens to sink a ship. A range of simple or complex procedures may be used, but the central goal is to ensure survival of the ship until it reaches a port where definitive repairs can be safely performed.

Damage Control Management in the Polytrauma Patient is a testament to how, in 2 decades, the damage control approach has transformed the resuscitation and early care of severely injured patients. This unique textbook, with 24 chapters and 58 authors, is both a technical manual and a clear illustration of the cultural challenges faced during a time of such radical transformation, especially by surgeons.