Back in Baghdad, Robert Bazell completed his remarkable week-long series Wounds of War for NBC. To recap, Monday he explained why so many soldiers are coming home crippled--because they are saved from dying. Tuesday, he showed us the expensive flying Intensive Care Unit that transports them to safety in Germany. Wednesday, he contrasted the heroic care offered by the US military with the abject treatment for Iraqi civilians. Thursday, he praised the healthcare ethics of the military, honorably treating ally and insurgent alike.
Lastly, Bazell shared the toll the carnage of war takes on the medical professionals themselves. Deprived of alcohol at their base in Baghdad, their drug of choice to relax after work is nicotine: "Cigars are a big part of their social ritual." Whenever they fail to save a life they line up on the hospital roof to salute the Angel Flight helicopter that carries the corpse away (Bazell was refused permission to videotape that ceremony). The final word of the series was a soundbite from a surgeon, but it seemed to reflect Bazell's own response to the horrors he had seen. "When I leave the army I am going to find a small children's hospital that does not do trauma. I promise you that. If I never do trauma again after this it will not bother me in the least bit."
You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.