As fighting season begins in Afghanistan, the Kandahar Airfield hospital will likely triple its trauma cases. Photo: Peter Andrews/Reuters.
Brian Mockenhaupt reports from the hospital at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan for the Atlantic.
By 7 a.m., the first patients of the day were slid off the medevac helicopters and wheeled into the trauma bay at the Kandahar Airfield hospital in southern Afghanistan.
"I've got a wedding ring. Make sure my wife gets it," Staff Sergeant Jeremy Breece said. His face was streaked black and green with camouflage paint, and smeared with dirt from the explosion. "I need to call her and let her know I'm okay." A tourniquet squeezed each thigh. His legs ended just below the knees, still covered in shredded pantleg. The trauma team -- a doctor, two nurses, and two Navy corpsmen -- cut away his uniform and checked for other wounds. ...
From the slow winter months to the height of summer fighting season, daily trauma cases typically triple between January and July. Military leaders expect the same this summer as the Taliban fight to reassert control over areas where coalition forces made significant gains over the past year, and to retain areas where they still hold sway. The steady climb in casualties has already begun. ...
The majority stay in Kandahar less than 48 hours before making their way to home countries. Americans are flown to Bagram Airfield outside Kabul, then to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Those with lesser wounds recuperate there and return to duty in Afghanistan; the rest continue on to military hospitals in the U.S.
Make sure to read the rest of this excellent article here.