SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

November 11, 2013

Column: Saving lives in the 'Golden Hour'

(Continued)

Once the casualties are stabilized at our facility, they are transported to a Role III facility for further care. These larger fixed facilities are still in Afghanistan and have much-increased capability. They have advanced diagnostics like CT and MRI and also have access to specialty care to include neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons, ophthalmologists, trauma specialists and others. Role IV care is provided at Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany, which has even more capability. Role V care is located back in the states at places like Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Center, where the casualties receive long-term rehabilitative care.

I take part in a theater-wide weekly trauma conference where providers from each echelon of care provide input on treatment of casualties seen through the system. It is a continuing effort to maximize our ability and continuously improve the medical care these heroes deserve. I am amazed at the severity of injuries these casualties are surviving. It is a testament to the expertise of every provider in the chain that contributes to the overwhelming success of our mission. It is truly an honor to be a part of this.

My eight-month deployment will be completed in November 2013. I have been in the military for the last 18 years, and I am always amazed at the quality of the people with which I serve. This is my second tour in Afghanistan, and they have both been tremendously rewarding experiences for me. I am anxious to return home to my family and friends and get rolling with my orthopedic private practice again.

Douglas Peterson of Beverly is currently returning from his overseas deployment and will be resuming his practice at the North Shore Center for Orthopedic Surgery. His office is in Salem, where he will be accepting new patients.

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