30 December 2005

U.S. hospital in Germany Site of Sacrifice, Care

Only days before Christmas, the Intensive Care Unit at the U.S. Army's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany is as busy as ever.

Doctors and nurses work around the clock at this hospital to meet the needs of U.S. soldiers who have been severely injured in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat locations.

The influx of patients with blast and gunshot wounds, burns, or other traumatic injuries from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other attacks, has remained steady since the beginning of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq over two years ago.

A total of more than 28,000* soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom have already been treated at Landstuhl hospital, the largest American medical facility outside the continental United States.

While most Americans are resting over the holiday season, the medical personnel at Landstuhl will be working away to help injured troops get well and get home to their loved ones stateside as soon as possible.

"Sure, we would like to be able to go home for the holidays, but so would the soldiers in Iraq," said Major Insel Angus, a reservist nurse from Reno, Nevada, who arrived in Germany last February.

Angus belongs to a reserve group of 300 medical specialists who were brought in to help stabilize the critically wounded and get them back to the United States for further treatment.

Most of her colleagues have left family, regular jobs and even private practices behind.

Yet, recently, Angus and two thirds of her reserve group voluntarily extended their rotation in Germany for another year.

Rest of the story about the Landstuhl staff here.

* Of the total number, approximately 3000 have been wounded in action, others treated for non-combat injuries and illness. Greyhawk has a good analysis here (scroll down).

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