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Civilian Docs Look To Military For Advances In Trauma Care

In case you missed Carey’s excellent story about the latest medical advances in treating patients with massive blood loss, including lessons learned from the battlefield, here’s another chance.

On Radio Boston today she talked about what “losing all your blood” really means, the resurgence of the tourniquet and how shifts in blood banking have improved care for patients with such significant blood loss.

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And Joseph Blansfield, trauma program manager at Boston Medical Center and former chief nurse at a combat hospital in Iraq from 2006-2007, spoke about how civilian doctors are looking to the military — particularly to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — to advance trauma care, which helped immensely in treating victims of the Marathon bombing.

“We’re getting smart and we’re smart on the fly, collecting real-time data on the experiences” of war, Blansfield said. Though some of the battlefield “laboratories” are truly awful, he added, they are something to “exploit for the greater good.”