"Navy Medicine in Critical Condition"
(See J. Rappold, pp. 25-27, December 2005 Proceedings)
Rear Admiral John M. Mateczun, MC, U.S. Navy, Deputy Surgeon General-Dr. Rappold is a great physician but his assessment of the health of Navy Medicine does not fit the facts.
Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom saw the fruition of a clinical dream: Forward surgery that freed operating rooms from their tie to hospital platforms and the movement of life-saving surgery to the front during maneuver warfare with the agility to keep moving forward. This was accomplished for the first time in combat in unison with one of the most transformational changes in the history of combat medicine-critical care air transport.
These two changes revolutionized the system of care both in and outside theater. A critically wounded Marine, sailor, soldier, or airman might receive life-saving or stabilizing surgical intervention within minutes of being wounded, receive continued resuscitation and intensive care during transport, benefit from follow-on surgery in Europe, and be moving to CONUS sometimes within a day.