Saving lives in Afghanistans A&E

Saving lives in Afghanistan's A&E

By Marie Jackson
BBC News
Lt Col Tai has seen the horrors of war, but has no nightmares
For six weeks, surgeon Lt Col Nigel Tai was on call 24 hours a day, treating wounded and dying British troops in Afghanistan on some of the bloodiest days the country has seen.
In that time, more than 100 British servicemen and women were wounded in action, some from gunshot wounds, others blown apart by roadside bombs.
The most critical of those were seen, alongside Afghan civilians and insurgents, at Camp Bastion hospital in Helmand province by 41-year-old Lt Col Tai and his team.
"We have seen a surge in casualties and it's certainly been challenging," he says.
"A significant portion have been blasts from IEDs [improvised explosive devices].
"These cause multi-cavity, multi-limb injuries which require multiple surgeons. So you are doing things concurrently - blood, critical care, intensive care," he explains.
The aim in a war hospital, he says, is to "always have a back door open" so patients are flown back to the UK as early as possible, often within 24 hours

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