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Conclusion

Table of Contents

CONCLUSION

Official studies of problems and lessons learned in the Dominican Republic have been made--and rightly so. The numerous problems encountered during the Dominican operation did not keep the Army Medical Service from accomplishing its mission.

Battle casualties were well cared for and evacuation was efficient and speedy. Training and planning, which are always subject to improvement, had to encompass an operation that developed suddenly and then quickly expanded. Yet despite the brief time available for planning, the Medical Service in DOMREP was a success and U.S. troops did not suffer from any deficiencies.

Alerted units were ready to go when needed, and professional medical staffing was promptly provided by the Office of The Surgeon General. No serious epidemics or diseases occurred among the troops--the outbreak of hepatitis was quickly controlled after the administration of gamma globulin was started, and the rates of diarrheal disturbances were relatively low and finally resolved once better sanitary procedures were enforced. No proven cases of insect-borne diseases developed among U.S. troops, and although venereal disease rates were constantly rising, the Medical Service accomplished all that it could by offering quick and effective treatment.

Probably one of the most noteworthy medical developments of the operation, however, was the more than 54,000 outpatient visits which carried some important side effects. It provided realistic and highly important training for medical personnel; it made medical help available to people in dire need; and it accented a meaningful way of providing politically significant foreign aid quickly during an emergency--the cause of people-to-people diplomacy was greatly enhanced.


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Therefore, the Army Medical Service operation during the DOMREP crisis, in the final analysis, must be considered a successful one. The Army Medical Service did much more than "conserve the fighting strength"-it extended the helping hand of medical knowledge and assistance to a friend and neighbor to the South.