31 August 2010

Increase in wounded airlifted to Landstuhl at levels unseen since the 2004 battles of Falluja

Marine Cpl. Corey Griggs, wounded by shrapnel during a patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand province, was airlifted to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where he is being treated. (Tony Perry / Los Angeles Times)

From an LA Times article about Landstuhl Regional Medical Center:

As darkness settled on a recent Saturday over the desert village of Sangin, someone threw a bomb over a mud wall at Griggs and his squad. The blast shattered his right forearm and embedded jagged shrapnel in his left.

After emergency surgery at a military outpost, Griggs, who is also being monitored for possible brain injuries, was placed aboard a specially outfitted cargo plane airlifting him to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center next to the U.S. air base at Ramstein, Germany.

Since 2004, nearly 13,000 U.S. service personnel wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq have been evacuated to Landstuhl, the largest American-run medical facility outside the U.S.

Some of the wounded are patched up and sent back to frontline duty. Many others are taken to the U.S. for advanced treatment at military hospitals in Washington, D.C.; Bethesda, Md.; San Antonio; or San Diego.

And here are the sobering statistics.

As the U.S. troop buildup in Afghanistan continues, Landstuhl is experiencing an increase in wounded patients to levels unseen since the 2004 battles in the Iraqi city of Fallouja.

The complexity and severity of wounds are also increasing, said Army Col. John M. Cho, a chest surgeon who is the hospital's commander. On a medical rating scale, the number of patients above a level considered extremely critical has increased 190% in the last two months, he said.

Please see this page if you would like to help support the Soldiers' Angels mission at Landstuhl. Our most-needed items are listed at the top.

And, as always, please keep our warriors and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

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