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August 15, 1959

Medical Department, United States Army, Surgeon in World War II. Volume II: General Surgery

JAMA. 1959;170(16):2034-2035. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010160150030

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This volume comprises a clear and succinct account of the methods so successfully used by American Army surgeons in World War II. These methods represented a distinct advance over those used in World War I and resulted in a much lower death rate than had ever before been experienced among the wounded of any war.

One reason for the improvement was shortening the elapsed time between injury and operation. Previously the patients had been handled too much and transported too far and there were too many delays for inspection along the line of evacuation.

This was corrected by operating on all acute emergencies in the forward areas. Resuscitation was vastly improved, and it was learned early that plasma was not an adequate substitute for whole blood. The use of oxygen was highly important. Cyanosis could be easily overlooked in a hasty examination under a poor light in the preoperative tent.

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