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February 6, 1991

Physicians Provide Continuum of Care for Desert Storm Fighting Forces

JAMA. 1991;265(5):557-559. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460050011002

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DESERT STORM combat medical plans call for a continuum of care from the Middle East's frontlines to US hospitals.

Wounds to the extremities have been the most common for US soldiers in wars of the latter half of this century and that is projected to be true again for US forces in the current coalition effort to oust the Iraqi invaders from Kuwait. In the recent past, wounded who have lived to reach a military hospital usually have survived and this also is expected to continue to be the case now for US forces in the Persian Gulf area.

Desert Shield/Storm  Still, unofficial casualty projections— as the 5-month Operation Desert Shield buildup of forces moved into the post-United Nations deadline Operation Desert Storm combat phase (January 16)—vary from 1800 (300 dead) to well over 45 000 (10 000 or more dead) among the 28 allied nations and up to 60