Shrapnel Wounds

The Army is experimenting with a new form of anethesiology, using nerve blocks to keep pain signals from traveling to the brain, thus eliminating the need to provide mind numbing morphine in the operating room. Procedures can take place with the patients fully awake. This from the latest issue of Wired Magazine.

Col. Chester Buckenmaier, who projects “a gruff, old fashioned avuncularity, with a bushy mustache and a cleft chin” talked about other unforeseen complications that have come up during the war. Soldier’s injuries, 90 percent of the time to the legs and arms because of body armor, are aggravated by strange infections. When a bomb detonates under a Humvee, septic muck from the chassis and road surface–carrying native strains of bacteria for which US troops have no resistance–is blown deep into the ravaged tissue. This complicates things for the doctors and adds to the misery of the more than 9000 injured so far from the war.