At the turn of the century, a deadly disease - yellow fever - threatened American soldiers stationed in Cuba, and fears that they would bring it home left the victorious American army trapped on the island. In response, President William McKinley sent U.S. Army Major Walter Reed to study yellow fever. Within less than three years, Reed and his Commission had deciphered the disease and learned how to control it. Service in Cuba became safe: For the first time in four hundred years the disease did not threaten the United States, making it possible to dig a canal across Panama. Military medicine had provided a military, a geopolitical, and a social victory.
Thanks to advances in field medicine and improved mobility and efficiency of medical units, the death rate of soldiers injured during battle has dramatically declined in the last 100 years. Nowadays, with forward medical stations operating close to battle lines and medical transports (ground and air) at hand, injured soldiers survive their battle wounds. Military Medicine: From Ancient Times to the 21st Century provides expert coverage of the key role medical advances and practices have played in the evolution of warfare, and how many of those advances and practices have been put to work saving and improving civilian lives as well.
Military Medicine surveys the development of military medicine from its prehistoric origins through modern threats and practice. That coverage is followed by over 200 of alphabetically organized entries with special emphasis placed on those areas with the most dramatic applications to civilian medicine, including triage and trauma management, treatment for infections, emergency surgical procedures, and more.
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