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History: Combat medics, Afghanistan

History: Combat Medics, Afghanistan

It was during the American Civil War that Surgeon (Major) Jonathan Letterman, Medical Director the Army the Potomac, realized a need for an integrated medical treatment and evacuation system. He saw the need to equip this system with its own dedicated vehicles, organizations, facilities, and personnel. The Letterman plan was first implemented in September 1862 at the Battle Antietam, Maryland. The United States Army’s need for medical and scientific specialty ficers to support combat operations resulted in the creation two temporary components: the US Army Ambulance Service, established on June 23, 1917 and the Sanitary Corps, established on June 30, 1917. Officers the Sanitary Corps served in medical logistics, hospital administration, patient administration, resource management, x-ray, laboratory engineering, physical reconstruction, gas defense, and venereal disease control. They were dedicated members the medical team that enabled American generals to concentrate on enemy threats rather than epidemic threats. On August 4, 1947, Congress created the Medical Service Corps.
In the United States, a report entitled "Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease Modern Society (1966)", was published by National Academy Sciences and the National Research Council. Better known as "The White Paper" to emergency providers, it revealed that soldiers who were seriously wounded on the battlefields Vietnam had a better survival rate than those individuals who were seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents on California freeways. Early research attributed these differences in outcome to a number factors, including comprehensive trauma care, rapid transport to designated trauma facilities, and a new type medical corpsman, one who was trained to perform certain critical advanced medical procedures such as fluid replacement and airway management, which allowed the victim to survive the journey to definitive care.

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