Thursday, December 09, 2004

This War is Costing an Arm and a Leg -- And Sometimes, Both

US troops require twice as many limb amputations as soldiers in past wars. Part of the reason is that medical advancements allow more to survive. That may mask the number of wounded. As late as the Gulf War, 25% of the wounded died. It's only 10% now.

In the past, the loss of three limbs was barely survivable. In the current Iraq War, soldiers are surviving far worse wounds -- but face an uncertain future. The Department of Veteran Affairs is spending $7.2 million to develop new artificial limbs. But the record survival rate may leave the wounded with "invisible" scars -- emotional ones. And what we're missing is that for every soldier killed -- 10 more are wounded. (Boston Globe)

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