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February 1969

Peripheral Vascular Injuries in the Vietnam War

Author Affiliations

Dr. Bizer was formerly affiliated with the Department of Surgery, 2nd Surgical Hospital, US Army, Vietnam.

Arch Surg. 1969;98(2):165-166. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340080057009

Major injuries of the peripheral vessels are seen frequently in the Vietnam War where a high percentage of injuries are inflicted by high velocity missiles.1 The need for peripheral vascular reconstruction in these injuries rather than ligation of the involved vessel first drew widespread interest with the report of DeBakey and Simeone.2 In their analysis of 2,471 vascular injuries incurred during World War II, the overall amputation rate was 50%, and direct repair was accomplished in only 3% of injuries. Since the conclusion of World War II the rapidly developing field of vascular reconstruction has made it imperative that immediate repair of peripheral vascularinjuries be attempted in war zones. Reports following the Korean War by Hughes3 and Jahnke and Seeley4 made it apparent that reconstruction of injured peripheral vessels was highly successful. According to Hughes3 immediate repair was attempted in 88% of arterial injuries and