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In the Gulf War in the early 1990s, US soldiers fighting on the Middle Eastern battlefield sometimes found themselves using dressings dated from World War II to patch up their wounds. In the present Iraqi conflict, however, American forces are now using an advanced new bandage, developed in Israel, that can save lives by stopping traumatic hemorrhaging wounds, and can also be used as a tourniquet, or a sling.
One of the major causes of death for soldiers at war is not the injury itself, but loss of blood on the battlefield. In the Vietnam war, for example, one in four soldiers died from hemorrhage bleeding or injuries to their extremities. In the current Iraqi war, only one in 10 deaths are attributable to this. One of the main reasons for this is that the US military has changed tactics. In the past, soldiers were taken off the battlefield and then treated for their injuries. Today, they are treated on the spot, which improves a victim’s chances of survival. Often it is the soldier himself who takes responsibility for dealing with his wounds.
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