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March 17, 1945

Foreign Letters

JAMA. 1945;127(11):668-669. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860110048017

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LONDON  (From Our Regular Correspondent)Feb. 17, 1945.

The Care of Inert Patients During Transit to Base  The care of inert patients during transit to base is a problem ever present in war. The Army Medical Department Bulletin points out that prolonged stay in one position on a stretcher is more than uncomfortable: it may be harmful. Inert patients include those who are unconscious or paralyzed by head or spinal injuries and those who are immobilized as a result of chest or buttock wounds. Pressure sores or massive collapse of the lung are the commonest results of prolonged stay in one position; the latter appears to have a higher incidence in battle accidents than in civilian injuries. A patient who is in good condition when he starts his journey by motor ambulance or air may be found on arrival at the base to have rapid breathing and pulse and signs

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