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Foreword

Battle Casualties in Korea, Studies of the Surgical Research Team, Volume I

Since the advent of the experimental method of study in medicine much progress has been made both by controlled studies of carefully planned experiments in animals with extrapolation to conditions observed in man, and by clinical studies of normal and pathological conditions occurring in man. Because of the numbers of variables in studies of this type, the final solution of most problems is still being sought. Observations of normal man subjected to a single type of pathological insult have been limited. In many instances man subjected to trauma presents such an opportunity. During peace the civil medical profession has little opportunity for such studies, because of the scattered locations where trauma occurs and the unpredictable time of such incidents. Largely for these reasons civil medicine has not developed understanding and skills for the treatment of trauma that are now available in other types of pathological conditions occurring in man. Combat as it occurs in war affords a unique opportunity for such studies and there is great need for development along this line to provide for better medical care of combat casualties. Selected healthy young adult males in excellent physical condition, severely injured by high-velocity missiles incurred during combat, urgently need better medical care than civil medicine can provide through its normal development. Further, the understanding of how treatment of traumatic injuries is influenced by stress, metabolic defects due to physical exertion or loss of sleep and delayed medical care cannot be obtained from experiences occurring in civil life. Adequate studies carried out in a combat theater not only insure better treatment of battle casualties but have added much to medical knowledge of great benefit to all mankind.

Dr. John M. Howard and other members of the surgical research team for the study of the severely wounded recognized the needs and the opportunity as presented by the Korean incident. The carefully planned work reported in these volumes resulted in many significant improvements in the life-saving and health-restoring methods used to treat the Korean battle casualty. Much of this new information will result in better medical care of mankind suffering from all types of injury and disease.

                    Colonel William S. Stone, MC
                    Commandant
                    Army Medical Service Graduate School
                    May 1950-May 1954
                    Walter Reed Army Medical Center
                    Washington, D. C.