|Surgery for Victims of War (ICRC, 1998, 225 p.)|
SURGERY FOR VICTIMS OF WAR
Much has been written about the theory and principles of war surgery as practised by military medical units. This book, which summarizes the practical experience of eminent specialists from different parts of the world, aims to provide a broad introduction to the subject for members of surgical teams, whether military or civilian, who may be faced with the treatment of wounded in situations or armed conflict - situations which demand a quite different approach from that normally found in civilian practice.
Among the subjects covered are: first aid, triage and reception of casualties, skin grafts, infection, treatment of neglected and mismanaged wounds, the treatment of wounds to different parts of the body, burns, reconstructive surgery and anaesthesia.
One of the chief characteristics of warfare is that sophisticated weapons cause highly damaging wounds, for the most part contaminated, in a context in which the medical infrastructure is poor. Field hospitals, such as those set up by the Red Cross in conflict zones, have to serve both as hospitals of first contact and as referral units, combining primary, secondary and basic reconstructive surgery. As the authors of this book point out, these circumstances require surgeons to have an all-round approach and to be able to use very simple means of treatment, often improvising to achieve maximum care under difficult conditions.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), founded in 1864 with the express purpose of improving medical care for the wounded in wartime, has published this book in the hope that its own experience in this field - and that of the book's authors - will help give victims of warfare the best possible chance of survival and recovery.
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS/GENEVA