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Field of medicine concerned with the prompt treatment of wounded military personnel. Developments in battlefield medicine have focused on treatment to quickly stop bleeding and on provision of immediate medical care. In the early 21st century these developments, combined with improvements in body armour and helmets, have resulted in the survival of many casualties of war who nonetheless have debilitating injuries such as the loss of a limb. Soldiers who have been wounded are taken from the scene of battle to their unit's closest treatment facility. There a team of surgeons and medical staff stabilize the wounded for transport to a larger facility with more specialized staff and equipment. Wounded military personnel may then be transferred for further treatment; those who cannot be returned to duty receive extended care and rehabilitation. Challenges facing military medicine today include the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological damage resulting from service in a war zone, as well as the development of better prosthetics for soldiers surviving the loss of a limb.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on battlefield medicine, visit Britannica.com.
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