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June 4, 1960


JAMA. 1960;173(5):518-521. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.73020230017008b

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Unfortunately, wars have provided the greatest stimulus to advances in the treatment of wounds. Between wars, the basic principles of emergency treatment are frequently forgotten or are overlooked and have to be relearned at the expense of increased morbidity and mortality in the early phases of a new war.

Medical officials of the 15 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations recognized the need for documenting lessons of World War II and the Korean war. They, therefore, authorized the publication of a NATO handbook entitled, "Emergency War Surgery." It represents contributions of international experts who saw wounded soldiers at the front. The first draft was submitted to medical authorities of all 15 NATO nations as well as to 40 American surgeons with wartime experience, who generously offered criticism. The United States and Canadian issues have been released within the past year. Surgical principles contained in this volume are just as applicable

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