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Article
April 1944

NAVAL CASUALTIES IN A BASE HOSPITAL IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC

Arch Surg. 1944;48(4):305-314. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1944.01230010315005
Abstract

The treatment of choice of wounds depends largely on the speed with which facilities adequate for definitive treatment can be made available. Surgeons may report excellent results in the treatment of civilian casualties in metropolitan hospitals using methods that would not be applicable to field conditions. When the wounded can be taken immediately to a well equipped hospital or to an undamaged sick bay aboard a capital ship, radical excision of wounds and other operations may be feasible and successful. But in jungle fighting, hours or days may elapse before the wounded reach a field hospital, which usually not only is crowded but is often subjected to air raids or even to artillery fire. Similarly, if the ship aboard which casualties occur is subsequently sunk, the wounded may float for hours before being rescued by a destroyer, whose sick bay may already be filled to overflowing and whose one medical

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