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916matt
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Wound statistics.

Tue Dec 09, 2008 13:26

Hi,ive been asked to give a (small) talk on ww2 combat first aid & the most common wounds/injuries to the troops in my unit. But while i can show the physical role of a combat medic i dont have any of the statistics ie: percentages of head,torso wounds plus small injuries like bone fractures and the everyday type of injury ,hope sombody has an answer thanks matt.

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littlelotte
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Tue Dec 09, 2008 14:54

Hi Matt,
I cannot speak from the perspective of a medic, but my impression is of a Nurse with the 48th Surgical/128th Evacuation Hospital. These are some of their statistics. During the 1st year of combat from 11/8/42 to 11/8/43 in North Africa they treated and handled 21,305 patients. 2500 of them were malaria, 4000 had surgery, 2586 of the surgery cases had a post mortality rate of 1.7%. The final count after 31 months in combat in the MTO and the ETO the hospital handled 70,000 patients. Over 52,000 recieved hospital care from the unit. 21,200 were admitted for surgical service and the post operative mortality rate was 1.08%. During Operation Torch in North Africa the 48th Surgical took patients directly from the Battalion Aid Station. During the ETO they had been redesignated the 128th Evacuation Hospital of which was mostly their function, although at certain times they functioned as a Station Hospital. The most common injuries seen from the Aid Stations in North Africa, the hospital performed abdominal laporatomies, many amputations, sucking chest wounds, bullet removal & shell casings, and 1 mine removal which was unexploded and in a soldier. I do not know if this helps at all, but just some thoughts. Maybe someone else can give you more information.
Thanks,
-Lisa

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littlelotte
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Wed Dec 10, 2008 13:36

I forgot the big one...gas gangrene.
Thanks,
-Lisa

skoyen89
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Wound Stats

Wed Dec 10, 2008 19:58

Hi

Do you have access to Cosmas and Cowdrey's book 'Medical Service in the European Theater of Operations'? On page 225 there is an analysis of causes and anatomical location of wounds in June and July in Normandy - two graphs. It changes from month to month (and presumably whether the fighting is static as in the Huertgen Forest or mobile as in the breakout across France in September). Generally shells caused 50-60% of wounds and gunshot wounds caused another 20-30% of wounds so between gunshot and shell wounds they made up over 80% in both June and July 1944 altho the balance differed a bit.

As for location, the extremities (arms and legs) received 50-60% again and thoracic wounds were 8-9% with the others all about 5%.

Incidentally I have noticed in my research that cases of gas gangrene that reached Station and General Hospitals was very low - a couple a year each. This maybe because they were isolated and did not make it back thro the evacuation chain. It seems german POWs suffered more cases, presumably because the initial care was not so good.

In the winter of 1944-45 up to 25% of all cases in some General Hospitals were trench foot and another 20% were neuropsychiatric cases. these are often forgotten.

Hope this is useful.

Tony
Researching US General and Station Hospitals in UK, France and Belgium 1942-6

skoyen89
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Wed Dec 10, 2008 20:06

Just found I can scan and attach it!
Attachments
Causes of Wounds - June and July 44 in Normandy.jpg
From Cosmas and Cowdrey p225
Researching US General and Station Hospitals in UK, France and Belgium 1942-6

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916matt
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Wed Dec 10, 2008 23:27

Thanks very much to both of you.matt.

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littlelotte
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Wed Dec 10, 2008 23:34

Incidentally I have noticed in my research that cases of gas gangrene that reached Station and General Hospitals was very low - a couple a year each. This maybe because they were isolated and did not make it back thro the evacuation chain. It seems german POWs suffered more cases, presumably because the initial care was not so good.


While I would agree with you about this being the case in the ETO, my research indicates that approx. 20% of the cases the 48th Surgical had in the MTO were gas gangrene. Only about 5% of those being German. The rest were American and Italian POW's and they ended in amputations. During this time they functioned as a MASH behind the Battalion Aid Stations, and then evacuated patients to EVAC's, Station's and Hospital ships.
Sincerely,
-Lisa

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