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!st Reply From: Horky, Roger Karl <email@example.com> Subject: Re: QUERY: Helicopter Medical Evacuation Data Date: March 3, 2010 6:25:52 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> During WWII, 28% of American soldiers wounded in battle died. The fatality rate of wounded soldiers in hospitals was 4.5%. During Korea, the figures were 28% and 2.5%, respectively. For further information, see Albert Cowdrey's THE MEDIC'S WAR and Hardaway and Bredenberg's CARE OF THE WOUNDED IN VIETNAM. Roger Horky PhD Student and Teaching Assistant History Department Texas A&M University College Station TX 2nd Reply From: Palle Rasmussen <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: QUERY: Helicopter Medical Evacuation Data Date: March 3, 2010 5:01:31 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@h-net.msu.edu> Maybe of comparable time/situation. I am pretty certain that there are statistics on the French Indochina War, specifically Moung Than/Dien Bien Phu. Not of much help with your question, but perhaps a different perspective. Best wishes, Rasmussen, Palle, Ma Hist. 3rd Reply From: Sidney Allinson <email@example.com> Subject: QUERY: Helicopter Medical Evacuation Data Date: March 3, 2010 7:10:57 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Mike: You might wish to also include mention of the little-known helicopter medical evacuations which took place in Burma during WWII. BTW, of those "autogiro pilots" (as they were then known) was the movie actor Jackie Cooper. -- Sidney Allinson. ------------------------------------- http://www.bantamsoldiers.com 4th Reply From: Mike Yared <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: QUERY: Helicopter Medical Evacuation Data Date: March 4, 2010 12:29:02 AM EST To: H-WAR H-WAR <email@example.com> Cc: Scott Hendrix <firstname.lastname@example.org> See: Analysis of aeromedical evacuation in the Korean War and Vietnam WarFred M ClingmanDissertation: Thesis (M.S.)--Air University, Air Force Institute of Technology, 1989. athttp://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA416927 Title: History of Aeromedical Evacuation in the Korean War and Vietnam War. Personal Author: Howard, William GCorporate Author: ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS. AD Number: ADA416927 at http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA416927 Dust off : Army aeromedical evacuation in Vietnam at http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/vietnam/dustoff/default.html Battle Casualties and Medical Statistics: U.S. Army Experience in the Korean War at http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/korea/reister/reister.html Joint Aeromedical Evacuation - Why Isn't It Adequate for the Combat Zoze at http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA426001 Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine of the Aerospace Medical Association The U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at http://www.wpafb.af.mil/afrl/711hpw/usafsam.asp U.S. Army School of Aviation Medicine at http://usasam.amedd.army.mil/ REVIEW OF THE U. S. ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LABORATORY CONFERENCE ONAEROMEDICAL EVACUATION HELD ON 15-16 JANUARY 1974 at http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA001544 MASH angels: tales of an air-evac helicopter pilot in the Korean War.Richard C KirklandBurford Books, 2009. ISBN:9781580801584 (1580801587). Vietnam: the helicopter war. Philip D Chinnery. Naval Institute Press, 1991. Mike Yaredmike_yared@hotmail.com 5th Reply From: Koyle, Kenneth M MAJ MIL USA MEDCOM OTSG <email@example.com> Subject: RE: QUERY: Helicopter Medical Evacuation Data (UNCLASSIFIED) Date: March 4, 2010 9:50:22 AM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Cc: Driscoll, Robert S Mr CIV USA MEDCOM HQ <Robert.Driscoll@AMEDD.ARMY.MIL>, Richard.Agosta@AMEDD.ARMY.MIL Mike, The first statistic you mentioned - "[of] those medical evacuated during Vietnam and 'lived to reach a medical facility, about 98% survived...'" is subject to some debate, as its ambiguity concerning types of wounds, type of medical facility, and duration of time between wounding and evacuation leaves a lot of variables in the calculation to skew the numbers. That said, it's a commonly quoted statistic among military medical historians, and it is a reasonable approximation of the truth. Regarding the Korean War, the best source for the medical statistics you're looking for is a US Army Surgeon General publication called "Battle Casualties and Medical Statistics: US Army Experience in the Korean War" (Frank A. Reister, 1973). Specifically, there are two tables in the book (Table 60 and 61, pages 66-67) that provide details about hospital dispositions, including deaths. Reister addresses the somewhat specious nature of "death ratios" quite convincingly. He notes that the "case fatality rate" for the Korean War is usually reported as 2.5 percent, which "is derived from relating the total number who died of wounds, whether in hospital or in another type of medical treatment facility, to the total number who were... wounded in action." We can reverse this percentage and state a 97.5 percent survival rate as a simple answer to your question, but Reister emphasizes that this is a generality, and should not be used as "a basis for qualitative consideration of the hospital care provided" (Reister, p. 68). If you use these statistics in your presentation, I encourage you to mention the caveats about their derivation. When I was teaching the Medical Evacuation Doctrine Course at the US Army School of Aviation Medicine a few years ago, I found it tempting to attach quantitative figures to all of my historical analyses, because "numbers don't lie." But there are certain qualitative aspects that remain obscured by the numbers. For example, recent medical and equipment advances mean that wounds that would not have been survivable in the Korean War are survivable in a modern combat environment. This, in turn, means that casualties who might have been considered KIA in Korea (e.g. penetrating head injury or bilateral traumatic amputation), and hence would not have been evacuated, are being evacuated and surviving their wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan. This raises the stakes for the helicopter evacuation mission, and limits the validity of comparisons to earlier wars. The value added by helicopter evacuation must be viewed in the context of evacuation as a component of the overall medical system. This is why helicopter evacuation is a medical mission, not an aviation mission - it's not just about transporting casualties, it's about supporting the medical system. Just a few thoughts to consider as you develop your presentation. Two other Army publications might be helpful in your research: "Dust Off: Army Aeromedical Evacuation in Vietnam" (Peter Dorland and James Nanney, 1982) and "The Medics' War" (Albert E. Cowdrey, 1987). The Dust Off book, of course, is all about your subject. The first chapter is devoted to "the early years," including a very good overview of the use of helicopter evacuation during the Korean War. Both the "Battle Casualties" book and the "Dust Off" book are available in full text on the website of the US Army Medical Department's Office of Medical History, http://history.amedd.army.mil. The other book, "The Medics' War," is published by the US Army Center of Military History rather than the Office of the Surgeon General, so it is only available through the CMH website at http://www.history.army.mil/catalog/pubs/20/20.html#20-5. Kenneth M. Koyle Major, Medical Service Corps OTSG, Office of Medical History Falls Church, VA Ken.firstname.lastname@example.org (703)681-4218 ----- Original Message ----- From: Mike Wilson <email@example.com> Subject: Helicopter medical evacuation data Date: March 3, 2010 11:18:58 AM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Hello, I will be conducting a presentation about helicopter medical evaucations and I am looking for casualty comparison data between the Korean War and Vietnam in terms of surviviability. I found a reference in which they state those medical evacuated during Vietnam and "lived to reach a medical facility, about 98% survived..." Is there similiar data for the Korean War and beyond? Thank you, Mike Wilson ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----