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January 27, 1951


JAMA. 1951;145(4):193-200. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920220001001

The consequences to the human body are the same whether an artery is severed by a shell fragment or a broken windshield. Pressure on the thigh from the stones of a peasant's cottage in Italy produces exactly the same crush syndrome as the prolonged weight of an axle in Kansas. Moreover, the consequences of delayed treatment are the same in both places. There is a universality in these cause and effect relationships, a universality, too, in the principles of treatment that makes them apply to the thousands of victims of atomic violence as well as to a child whose tonsillectomy wound continues to bleed. There are various reasons why the principles and procedures evolved in World War II concerning the treatment of the wounded are not yet an adequate part of medical practice. When it comes to transmitting experience in a positive way, a curious but understandable human inertia appears.

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