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J Trauma Inj > Epub ahead of print
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20408/jti.2021.0029    [Epub ahead of print]
Published online September 7, 2021.
Trauma Surgery and War: A Historical Perspective
Kun Hwang
Department of Plastic Surgery, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea
Correspondence:  Kun Hwang, Tel: +82-32-890-3514, Fax: +82-32-890-2918, 
Email: jokerhg@inha.ac.kr
Received: 16 March 2021   • Accepted: 11 May 2021
The aim of this review is to introduce the progress in trauma surgery made during war. In the 16th century, Paré reintroduced ligature of arteries, which had been introduced by Celsus and Galen, instead of cauterization during amputation. Larrey, a surgeon in Napoleon’s military, adapted the “flying artillery” to serve as “flying ambulances” for rapid transport of the wounded. He established rules for the triage of war casualties, treating wounded soldiers according to the seriousness of their injuries and the urgency of medical care. To treat fractures and tuberculosis, Thomas created the “Thomas splint”, which was used to stabilize fractured femurs and prevent infection; in World War I (WWI), use of this splint reduced the mortality of compound femur fractures from 87% to less than 8%. During WWI, Cushing systematized the treatment of head injuries, reducing mortality among head injury patients. Gillies repaired facial injuries, and his experiences became the basis of craniofacial and aesthetic surgery. In WWII, McIndoe discovered that immersion in saline promoted burn healing and improved survival rates, and thus began saline baths and early grafting instead of using tannic acid. A high mortality rate in patients with acute renal failure was noted in WWII and the Korean War. In the Korean War, Teschan used the Kolff-Brigham dialyzer. The first use of medevac with helicopters was the evacuation of three British pilot combat casualties by the US Army in Burma during WWII. As a lotus blooms in the mud, military surgeons have contributed to trauma surgery during wartime.
Key Words: Armed conflicts; Wounds and injuries; Military medicine; History of medicine
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