Author Topic: British surgeons needed US help to treat 100 wounded  (Read 3545 times)

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Offline stangrof

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British surgeons needed US help to treat 100 wounded
« on: July 30, 2009, 08:09:54 am »
Exhausted British surgeons called in an American medical team to cope with a surge of soldiers wounded in fierce fighting against the Taliban.

More than 100 British troops were treated for battle injuries at the field hospital at Camp Bastion, Helmand, in six weeks to mid-July. There were 29 very seriously wounded, with their life in danger, or seriously injured.

The British casualty toll is expected to rise sharply because it does not include the final part of the five-week Panther's Claw offensive, which ended on Monday, to drive out the Taliban from part of the province in southern Afghanistan.

July has been the bloodiest month for British forces in Afghanistan, with 22 deaths, taking the military fatalities to 191 since 2001. Some 57 British troops were wounded in action in the first two weeks of the month, compared with 46 in the whole of June and 24 in May.

Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (health), said British doctors were left “exhausted” by the long hours they spent in theatre fighting to save the lives and limbs of wounded soldiers, many of whom had been injured by makeshift roadside bombs.

“We talked to coalition colleagues and a surgical team from one of the US facilities has moved temporarily down to reinforce capability down in
Bastion,” he said.

Colonel Peter Mahoney, defence professor of anaesthetics and critical care at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, who has just returned from serving as clinical director at the Bastion field hospital, praised his staff for dealing with so many casualties including British, American, Afghan police and soldiers, and Taliban fighters.

“It's stressful for everybody dealing with injured young people, particularly when you are cutting off people's camouflage which you recognise as your own,” he said.

The field hospital admitted 211 British military personnel in the six-week period, including 103 wounded in action and 108 for non-battle injuries or other illnesses.

It treated 14 very seriously injured British soldiers, meaning their condition was life-threatening. A further 15 were seriously wounded.

There have been 2,650 British casualties, for injuries or disease, in Afghanistan since the start of Ministry of Defence records in 2006.

In one week alone this month 157 wounded people from several nationalities were brought to the Camp Bastion hospital.

The full scale of the bloodshed suffered by British forces was emerging as the repatriation of the bodies of three more servicemen took place today.

Warrant Officer Sean Upton, of the 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, and Trooper Phillip Lawrence, of The Light Dragoons, died in blasts in Helmand on Monday. Bombardier Craig Hopson, of the 40th Regiment Royal Artillery, was killed on Saturday in a roadside bomb attack.
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