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Books and Documents

VIETNAM STUDIES

MEDICAL SUPPORT
OF THE U.S. ARMY
IN VIETNAM
1965-1970

by
Major General Spurgeon Neel

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
WASHINGTON, D.C., 1991


Contents

FORWORD

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

chapter:

I.  THE MEDICAL COMMAND STRUCTURE
        Medical Service During the Advisory Years
        Command and Staff Relationships During the Years of Military Commitment: 1965-67
        Nondivisional Command and Staff Relationships: 1967-71

II.  HEALTH OF THE COMMAND
        Rates and Trends
        Major Problems

III.  CARE OF THE WOUNDED
        Excellence of Medical Care
        Nature of Wounds
        Specific Advances

IV.  HOSPITALIZATION AND EVACUATION
        Hospitalization
        Evacuation
        Reduction and Reorganization

V.  MEDICAL SUPPLY
        Realignment of Medical Supply Activities
        The Depot System
        Medical Equipment Maintenance Support

VI.  DIVISION AND BRIGADE MEDICAL SUPPORT
        Usages of Divisional Medical Assets
        Medial Support of Separate Infantry Brigades
        Trial Reorganization

VII.  AVIATION MEDICINE
        Flyer Fatigue
        Care of the Flyer Program

VIII.  PREVENTIVE MEDICINE       
        Communicable Diseases
        Environmental Sanitation
        Professional Conferences

IX.  THE MILITARY BLOOD PROGRAM
        Evolution of the System
        Initial Sources of Whole Blood
        Agencies for Expansion of Blood Supply
        Relocation of the Central Blood Bank
        Group and Type-Specific Blood
        Transfusion Reactions
        Fresh Frozen Plasma
        Wastage of Blood
        Technical Research and Innovations
        Significant Problems
        The Donor System

X. MEDICAL RESEARCH
        Initial Efforts in Southeast Asia
        Studies of the Medical Research Team
        Special Projects
        Surgical Research

XI.  LABORATORY SUPPORT
        Evolution of the System
        The 9th Medical Laboratory
        Innovations
        Problems Surmounted

XII.  CORPS SERVICES
        Nursing Service
        Dental Service
        Veterinary Service
        Army Medical Specialist Corps Services

XIII.  MEDICAL ASSISTANCE TO VIETNAMESE CIVILIANS
        Provincial Health Assistance Program
        Military Provincial Health Assistance Program
        Medical Civic Action Program
        Civilian War Casualty Program

XIV.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
        Medical Command and Control System
        Health of the Command
        Combat Casualties
        Hospitalization
        Helicopter Evacuation
        Medical Supply
        Outpatients
        Battalion Surgeons
        Impact of Policies
        Lack of Responsiveness of the Army Authorization Document System
        Research
        Vietnamese Civilians Care
        Civilian Implications

GLOSSARY

Tables       

No.

1.  Hospital Admissions for All Causes, U.S. Army, in Three Wars: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, by Year.
2.  Approximate Number of Man-Days Lost From Duty, by Cause, Among U.S. Army Personnel in Vietnam, 1967-70.
3.  Selected Causes of Admissions to Hospital and Quarters Among Active-Duty U.S. Army Personnel in Vietnam, 1965-70.
4.  Incidence Rate of Diarrheal Disease Among U.S. Army Personnel in World War II and in Vietnam, by Year.
5.  Incidence Rate of Psychiatric Conditions, Army-Wide, 1965-70.
6.  Percent of Deaths and Wounds According to Agent, U.S. Army, in Three Wars: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
7.  Location of Wounds in Hospitalized Casualties, by Percent, U.S. Army, in Three Wars: world War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
8.  Total Number of Patients Evacuated From Vietnam, U.S. Army, by Month, 1965-69.
9.  Number of Units of Blood Collected and Shipped, by Year, to the Central Blood Bank in Vietnam by the 406th Medical Laboratory, U.S. Army, Japan.
10.  Inspection of Food by the U.S. Army Veterinary Service in Vietnam, by Year, 1965-70.

Charts

1.  Medical Command and Staff Structures, U.S. Army, Vietnam, 24 February 1962-1 April 1965.
2.  Medical Command and Staff Structure, U.S. Army, Vietnam, 1 November 1965-17 February 1966.
3.  Medical command and Staff Structure, U.S. Army, Vietnam, 1 May 1966-10 August 1967.
4.  Medical Command and Staff Structure, U.S. Army, Vietnam, 10 August 1967-1 March 1970.
5.  Medical Command and Staff Structure, U.S. Army, Vietnam, 1 March 1970.
6.  Admissions by Year, to Hospital and Quarters for Malaria in Three Wars: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
7.  Admissions by Year, to Hospital and Quarters for Malaria Among U.S. Army Personnel in Vietnam, 1965-69.
8.  Admissions, by Year, to Hospital and Quarters for Hepatitis in Three Wars: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
9.  Admissions and Hospital and Quarters for Hepatitis Among U.S. Army Personnel in Vietnam, 1965-69.
10.  Admissions to Hospital and Quarters for Diarrheal Disease Among U.S. Army Personnel in Vietnam, 1965-69.
11.  Admissions to Hospital and Quarters for Neuropsychiatric Conditions Among U.S. Army Personnel in Vietnam, 1965-69.
12.  Units of Blood Available in South Vietnam, by Month, January 1965-December 1970.
13.  Military Blood Program Agency Operational Scheme for Triservice Collecting-Processing of Whole Blood.
14. A Field Medical Laboratory System in Vietnam.

Maps

1.  Nondivisional Medical Units, 31 December 1962.
2.  U.S. Army Hospitals in Vietnam, 31 December 1968.
3.  Air Ambulance Units in Vietnam, 31 December 1968.
4.  U.S. Army Hospitals in Vietnam, 1970.
5.  Whole Blood Supply in Distribution System, July 1969.

Illustrations

A Wounded American Soldier Receives Immediate Treatment.
Hospitals in Vietnam, 1967.
45th Surgical Hospital at Tay Ninh, 1967.
Use of Hoist in Vietnam, 1968.
Preventive Medicine Unit Team Member Using Sprayer-Duster
An Overview of the New Central Blood Bank at Cam Ranh Bay, June 1969.
A 2.5-Cubic Foot Freezer in Which Fresh Frozen Plasma Is Stored.
Veterinary Food Inspector Checking Ice for Chlorination and Potability.
U.S. Army Nurses Hold Sick Call at a Vietnamese Orphanage.
Dental Clinic of the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Vietnam.
Cranes Unload Refrigerated Vans.
A MEDCAP Mission in Vietnam.
A Vietnamese Civilian Undergoing Treatment at a U.S. Army Hospital.

Illustrations are from Department of Defense files.


Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 72-600264

First Printed 1973-CMH Pub 90-16


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402