Both ABC and NBC mounted major efforts to cover the medical catastrophes created by the conflict in Iraq. NBC's Robert Bazell started his Wounds of War series. Because of advances in military medicine many more combat casualties are dodging death than in previous wars. Bazell kicked off from Baghdad where doctors, nurses and medics "work with an intensity and dedication one never sees" in the trauma centers of the United States. He showed how soldiers' own first aid kit tourniquets, rapid medevacs and emergency surgery combine to keep 96% of the wounded alive--if lacking limbs.
ABC's former World News anchor Bob Woodruff was one of those kept alive after brain injury. Charles Gibson showed us a grisly CT scan of Woodruff's unconscious head. Part of his skull had been cut out and his face was riddled with shrapnel. Gibson previewed Woodruff's primetime special To Iraq and Back with A Closer Look at healthcare for combat veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury: follow-up rehab therapy from Veterans Affairs is "severely deficient." A brain-damaged sergeant's wife called searching for the right VA care "like a scavenger hunt."
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