02 March 2007

"A human life is a human life, sir"

More from Robert Bazell's special report at MSNBC, Wounds of War:

With almost no warning, three Medevac helicopters touch down at Camp Speicher near Tikrit, Iraq. ...

"He's got some open wounds, he has some ortho wounds, and he needs an X-ray," says a doctor as he evaluates the men. "The fourth guy has some back wounds."...

"I need two units of blood!" orders the doctor. "He looks like he has lost plenty of blood."

The worst of the cases ... goes immediately into surgery, where in less than an hour doctors administer 30 units of blood.

"Right now, we have had five major traumas come in," says Eric Shrye. "We're down to our last 10 percent of our blood supply."

The four patients who arrived on the medevac helos are Iraqis - two of them insurgents who had been seen placing an IED. A search of their car revealed weapons and a video camera to film the planned attack.

The story continues:

The call goes out at the base for volunteer blood donors, and within minutes dozens of soldiers line up. Brian Suam is at the head of the line. He says it doesn't matter that his blood might be used for insurgents.

"A human life is a human life, sir," Suam says.

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