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Temporary blood vessel shunt to be used to save limbs in war

Stile 65 (722451) writes | more than 7 years ago

Biotech 157

The FDA has just approved for military use a shunt which allows partially-severed limbs to continue to get circulation. According to the article, "For most, it won't be a matter of saving a limb outright but rather salvaging the quality of a wounded leg or arm." This is because "The tubelike device is designed to connect the two ends of a severed blood vessel, providing a temporary bridge or shunt around a wound to restore blood flow to an

The FDA has just approved for military use a shunt which allows partially-severed limbs to continue to get circulation. According to the article, "For most, it won't be a matter of saving a limb outright but rather salvaging the quality of a wounded leg or arm." This is because "The tubelike device is designed to connect the two ends of a severed blood vessel, providing a temporary bridge or shunt around a wound to restore blood flow to an injured limb" according to the FDA. "The shunt may save injured limbs from amputation, since it can be implanted on the battlefield to maintain blood flow until a wounded soldier undergoes surgery, FDA officials said. Since the start of the Iraq war, more than 500 soldiers have lost limbs, many to injuries suffered in roadside bombings."

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Even better (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974326)

Peace may save limbs lost in war.

In short: stop warmongering, and soldiers will stay in one piece.

Re:Even better (0, Flamebait)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974396)

Tell it to the so-called insurgents. We'd be out of there by now if it weren't for them.

Re:Even better (-1, Flamebait)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974466)

tell it to bush and the republicans, we wouldn't be in there if it weren't for them

Re:Even better (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974496)

Tell it to the Islamists, who started the conflict a long time ago. Look at a map of current conflicts in the world -- most of them are Muslims vs. Muslims, or Muslims vs. someone else.

As long as they don't reform their religion to remove all that "slay the Infidels and take their stuff!" material, there will be war.

Bury your head in the sand (-1, Troll)

HBI (604924) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974502)

The traitors and the Euro fucks have pretty much bullshitted each other into believing that if it hadn't been for Bush, that the world would be a peace party.

Unfortunately, no matter how many times you repeat something to yourself and like-minded listeners, it will never make it the truth.

You'll learn the error of your ways when the shrapnel tears your body apart and not a moment before.

Re:Even better (4, Insightful)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974632)

If that is the case, you would have to tell it to every Democrat that voted for the war as well.

Re:Even better (4, Insightful)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975258)

How does that make sense?

The original poster said: tell it to bush and the republicans, we wouldn't be in there if it weren't for them

You reply with: If that is the case, you would have to tell it to every Democrat that voted for the war as well.

Democrat congresspeople voted for the war, it is true. But most of the Democrats that I know were against the war from the beginning. It was the Republican population that was supporting the war.

Do you remember that neat little debate, within the population? Do you remember how divided everyone was, and how the newspapers were writing about it? The "misinformed" + "watching Fox News" numbers going around? Remember?

Now, if the Republican population had been against the war, none of this would have happened.

Us non-Congressperson Democrats were firmly against the war in Iraq. We said things like, "We don't believe that there are WMD there," we said things like, "Let's listen to the inspectors," we said things like, "This evidence is really shoddy," and we said "This is going to be a disaster. You can't spread Democracy like this." We said all sorts of things. And you know what? We were right on just about every damn single one of them!

It was the Republican-voting population that allowed for this present reality to exist.

Not the Democrats' population.

So, tell it to the Republicans: Stop warmongering, and soldiers will stay in one piece.

Re:Even better (0, Offtopic)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975936)

yup

Re:Even better (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976452)


"...tell it to every Democrat..."

While what you say is true, your comment is still stupid, because it was a Republican-controlled congress that authorised the invasion. It seems doubtful that a Democrat-controlled congress would have done so.
Are you trying to alleviate some guilt? Can people not take responsibility for their actions anymore?

Re:Even better (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974686)

Since Bush clearly will not rest until another 500 Americans have lost their limbs!

Re:Even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974728)

You've got it backwards, chap. The only reason there is an insurgency is because your troops are still there.

Re:Even better (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975734)

Actually, that's the reason it's still only an insurgency and not an all-out civil war.

We broke it, we bought it. Sure, we may have a splash of the blood of the tens of thousands of Iraqis who've killed each other (and been killed by Syrian and Iranian nationals) on our hands, but if we were to leave, it'd be the blood of hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

We want to live in peace just as much as the average Iraqi. Lots of Iraqis cooperate happily with US troops to try to make their country a better place. The problem is that some of the imams and other figures of power see a chance to rise to the position of supreme dictator that Saddam held until so recently, and they don't care who or how many they have to kill in order to get there. This insurgency isn't about opposing the US presence on principle. We're simply "in the way" of Muqtada and friends' rise to power.

Re:Even better (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17976628)

...if we were to leave, it'd be the blood of hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

Maybe, maybe not. Obviously it would depend on the details of how the US left but, even if the details of the are specified, no one really knows. Sure, there are news anchors who were hired because they look dignified and authoritative who will look dignified and authoritative and tell the American public that the US needs to be in the Iraq to prevent a massive genocide. The bottom line is: know one really know what would happen.

For example, if the US were to start withdrawing but were also to make it clear that they would go back if the Shia started a genocide then it is likely that the Shia would keep the lid on things. There's a good chance the Shia would divide up the country but there's a good chance that's going to happen anyway.

We want to live in peace just as much as the average Iraqi. Lots of Iraqis cooperate happily with US troops to try to make their country a better place.

Sure, everyone wants peace - they just want it on their own terms. That goes double for the USA. The key point here is that the USA is not a neutral party. The USA is also a militant faction trying to promote certain outcomes. Some Iraqis cooperate with the militant faction that is the USA and other Iraqis cooperate with other militant factions. The Iraqis cooperate with whichever militant faction they think is most likely to make Iraq a better place.

We're simply "in the way" of Muqtada and friends' rise to power.

Well, here's the thing. The Shia are the dominent ethnic group and they happen to like Muqtada and friends. That means that a democratic Iraq will have Muqtada and friends in power anyway. That means that a democratic Iraq will be a close ally of Iran. That means that a democratic Iraq will want to change Israel's name to Palestine and change it from being the eternal home of the Jewish people to the eternal home of the Palestinian people.

Some people in the USA seem to think that "democracy" means "whatever people in the USA want". It doesn't. It means "whatever the Iraqi people want" (and the people in Iraq want very different things than the people in the USA).

Re:Even better (1)

FernandoBR (1011821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975958)

Tell it to the so-called 'soldiers of liberty'. You'd be out of there by now if it weren't for the oil. Oh, wait... how will the usians keep trashing the environment without oil and other fossil fuels??

Re:Even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17976636)

And I bet you power your home with the bullshit you spew out on Slashdot? Yes thats right everyone outside the US has discovered cold fusion and all other everlasting safe sources of energy. Us Americans just use our oil to be evil. In fact we don't even properly use half the oil we import. Every Saturday evening all us Americans Fat Asses go into our backyard with a barrel of oil and just burn it for the hell of it. ...Back in Reality... Usians isn't a term its a euro concocted term for you assholes because you guys are so progressive with your 2 world wars and genocides.

Re:Even better (1, Insightful)

LT7 (1022997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974546)

stop warmongering, and soldiers will stay in one piece

IANL but Iraq repeatedly violated UN Security council resolutions 678, 687, 1441. I'd say that the Iraq conflict was the absolute last resort. Whilst the countries that went in were foolhardy not to get UN Security Council authorisation they were hardly warmongering, Saddam brought it on himself.

Re:Even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974722)

Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis who have been killed, either directly by US forces or by the resulting civil war. At the end of the day, remember that you are not the one who actually has to deal with this war directly. Perhaps you should try putting yourself in the place of the Iraqi whose life has been destroyed by this war? Or don't you have the guts to do that?

Re:Even better (0, Offtopic)

LT7 (1022997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974900)

Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis who have been killed

I never endorsed war, I was just making the point that the countries involved were forced into it. What should they have done? Saddam had several "Palaces" that Hans Blix's inspection team were not allowed into, should the USA et al have just sat on their hands whilst Saddam was potentially manufacturing WMDs?

Perhaps you should try putting yourself in the place of the Iraqi whose life has been destroyed by this war? Or don't you have the guts to do that?

Whilst I have not been afffected by this war, I have had relatives that have been casualties of other conflicts. War is an ugly thing and no one ever wins it.

PS perhaps you should not accuse people of not having "guts" whilst posting AC.

Re:Even better (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17975230)

I never endorsed war, I was just making the point that the countries involved were forced into it.

Huh? You have a very bizarre definition of "forced".

What should they have done? Saddam had several "Palaces" that Hans Blix's inspection team were not allowed into, should the USA et al have just sat on their hands whilst Saddam was potentially manufacturing WMDs?

The whole WMD argument never really made much sense. For one thing, of the various so called "WMD", only nuclear weapons were substantially more effective that traditional weapons. Sure, you could potentially kill 100,000 people in a packed football stadium with sarin but you could also do that with any number of conventional weapons. Biological weapons sound scary because you don't need very much of the agent itself but for effective dispersal you need large and sophisticated equipment and you also need to infect people without them knowing or they just take antibiotics.

Even supposing the WMD in question could actually take out all of Manhattan, you have this bizarre situation where if Saddam has the WMD (and is not using them - a factual observation) then invading is likely to make him use them which is going to result in the destruction of NYC. In other words, if Saddam actually had real WMD then it would have been foolish to invade. On the other hand, if Saddam didn't have WMD then it's kind of hard to justify invading.

The only way you could justify invading would be if you knew that Saddam did not have WMD but that Saddam was only months from producing them. If Saddam was years away from having them then there would be time for other approaches besides all out invasion. Now, suppose you're right. Suppose that the USA knew that Saddam did not have WMD and also knew that Saddam was months away from producing WMD that could take out all of Manhattan. In that case, the USA goes to Saddam and says "OK, Kid. We have all this specific intelligence about what you're doing and you either need to stop and let the weapons inspectors verify it or we're going to invade.

You may claim that's what the USA did but you'd be making it up. The USA didn't even let the weapons inspectors finish their inspections. Hans Blix kept saying to the USA "Tell me where to inspect" and the USA was like "Well, we don't really know but we're sure it's there somewhere". The thing is, the USA wasn't sure. In fact, we now know that the Bush adminstration had created certain groups within the Pentagon to make the stuff up.

PS. I'm not the original AC who responded to you but the reason I'm posting AC is because I have a motto "Don't mess with mean stupid people" - not because I'm a coward: I just don't see the point. If you're claiming that the USA was forced to invade Iraq then you are either mean or stupid. For all I know, if you knew my real identity then you would believe that you were "forced" to hack my computer and delete my files. I don't see the point of leaving myself open to that kind of annoyance. It's the ideas that matter and they will be out there regardless of how they are posted.

Re:Even better (0, Troll)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975536)

The US was not forced into war, they were the invading party FFS! There were no weapons of mass destruction and there was no indication that Iraq had any. The US knew that at the time of the invasion that their intelligence reports about WMD's were wrong. Hans Blix was not welcomed with open arms in Iraq, but you cannot blame them for that. After the invasion no WMD's were found.
When was the last time the US let international observers into their weapons facilities or palaces? Or even Elections?

Whilst I have not been afffected by this war, I have had relatives that have been casualties of other conflicts. War is an ugly thing and no one ever wins it.

Well good on you. Too bad you did not learn the complete lesson that war has to be avoided at all costs. Invading another country is not avoiding it at all. Is Iraq really better off now that it was under Saddam?

Re:Even better (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975018)

If you're going to bring up statistics at least use ones that don't come from a frigging survey, of all things.

Re:Even better (0, Redundant)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975332)

And what was the violation of those resolution that was/is maiming US invasion troops? There was no legitimate reason to start this war (USian hawks like to ignore/distort that fact), and no UN resolution to declare war.
The US has all the nasty weapons that they accused Iraq from developing, violates human rights when they feel like it (guantanamo, reditions etc) and routinely kills their own citizens. If there is an axis of evil, is has the US at its center. There are hundres of civilized countries that can resolve their differences without resorting to violence. Why can't the US do that?

Re:Even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17975754)

Leave the soldiers in peace?

Hah, I'll leave them in pieces...

Bambambambam...

Re:Even better (1)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975872)

That's such a rare and deep insight.

Truly.

Did you get it off a hallmark card?

Re:Even better (1)

edschurr (999028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976580)

The shunt doesn't save limbs lost in war; it saves limbs from amputation. Limbs lost in war are going to remain lost, peace or no.

(Sorry, I'm bored.)

I've got a better solution..... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974334)

I've got a better solution to this problem: don't send these young men and women off to lose limbs and die in third-world shitholes in the first place.

Reiser dumps Core, Pleads GUILTY !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974852)

Reiser dumps Core, Pleads GUILTY !! Oh, the evil in the empire

Only 500? (5, Insightful)

Weston O'Reilly (1008937) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974344)

Only 500 soldiers have lost limbs since the start of the war? Why does that sound so unlikely? We've been hearing all along that the death toll is so much lower than previous US wars because of advances in trauma care that allow soldiers to survive injuries that were once not survivable, but we're seeing a huge increase in limb loss in the trade off.

Does anyone know if this statistic is accurate?

Not to argue semantics... (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974368)

But all that was specificed in the article was "over 500 soldiers" had lost limbs. Now, five hundred & thirty four would be over five hundred. But so would seven thousand.

Re:Not to argue semantics... (1)

Weston O'Reilly (1008937) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974412)

And 7,000 seems to satisfy my uninformed beliefs better than 500. I just assumed the number of amputees has by now greatly exceeded the death toll. I've heard analysts talking about how this will be a boon to the prosthetics industry and that we'll see advances in prosthetics faster now that demand is so much higher. I know there's got to be many eye and ear and hand injuries that are equally disabling that aren't counted there, but I'm still shocked to see a ballpark figure of "over 500".

Re:Not to argue semantics... (3, Informative)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974622)

Well, the figures for people with amputations aren't readibly available. What you can find, though, is the figures on total casualties. See this link [whs.mil] . So we know that (as of Feb 2006), a total of 23,000 troops were wounded in action and survived, of which some 7000 required to be medevaced. (Hence my 7000 figure from the earlier post.) I've looked a bit, but I haven't seen any reports on the final disposition of those casualties - how many of those make full recoveries, how many are amputess, blind, deaf, or end up with medical discharges at some point.

Re:Not to argue semantics... (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975056)

Medevac tends to mean much more often massive blood loss or organ punctures rather than the need to amputate. At most, the number of medevaced people who needed amputation are probably less than 3000.

Re:Not to argue semantics... (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976202)

Right - not all medevacs are going to mean amputation. But any amputation will have been medevaced - hence the upper limit of 7000. If I had to guess, not using the 'major amputation' definition that they used to reach the 500 amputee figure, probably fully half of those 7000 are going to have a permanent loss of something, be it a part of a finger, an eye, or a whole limb.

Re:Not to argue semantics... (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974662)

How many amputees do you see in a normal month?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 8,450 amputations in 2005, with 5,780 being fingertips and another 2,300 involving fingers. That leaves 370 other injuries. It reports 190 injuries for hands and feet, leaving 180 injuries that involve loss of limb. Link:

http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/case/ostb1669.txt [bls.gov]

I'm comfortable assuming people get hurt working a lot more often than playing, so there are something like 400 injuries a year that involve very high loss of functionality(I wouldn't even want to lose one finger, but a hand is a whole nother level). Soldiers are generally young and active, and they have excellent medical care, so I can see how several hundred amputees a year would contribute significantly to research.

That's just workplace stats (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975970)

Many more amputations come from motor vehicle accidents, gunshots, tumors, diabetes. I alone did about 10 last year.
One of my colleagues just got back from Iraq - he amputated over 600 limbs in 40 years or so, and he's just one surgeon. I'm sure the army has around a 50 or so orthopaedic surgeons at the minimum.

Re:Only 500? (4, Informative)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974416)

Time [time.com] says the 500th amputee was a Corporal, injured on January 12th 2007.

Re:Only 500? (2, Interesting)

jofer (946112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974514)

Accidentally modded you as a troll, replying to negate the moderation... Sorry 'bout that! Back on the topic, I think the primary reason the number of amputees is so "low" is due mainly to the advances in medicine since, say, the Vietnam War, rather than under-reporting of the actual number. A lot of limbs can be saved now that couldn't have been even ten years ago... On a more gruesome side note, I'd imagine they're not including "minor" extremities such as fingers, toes, etc. in that particular number...

Re:Only 500? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974544)

Indeed - it says in the article I posted that they do not include the amputation of fingers/toes in those statistics, just entire limbs. And yes, I'm sure the progress made in the field of combat trauma care means people are less likely to lose their legs. But then couple that with a war where most people are killed by explosives (on our side, anyway), and the statistics are going to be very confusing to most people, usually not reflecting what they'd expect. Iraq is not like any other war we in the west have really seen before.

Interesting statistics there. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974594)

From the Time article:

The 500 major amputations -- toes and fingers aren't counted -- represent 2.2% of the 22,700 U.S. troops wounded in action.


Okay, so we're only talking "wounded" here.

But the number rises to 5% in the category of soldiers whose wounds prevent them returning to duty.


Huh? 95% of the troops who cannot return to duty are not amputees? If they all their body parts and are not dead, then why can't they return to duty?

Re:Interesting statistics there. (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974682)

Partially deaf.

Blind in one eye.

Partially paralyzed.

Serious chest wound that caused internal organ damage - you might survive, but if your lung capacity is permanently reduced 20%, you're not going to be running about the desert with a pack on.

Ditto for a knee/joint injury - even if they save you leg, if you're limping, you're not going to be staying in the infantry.

Look at those. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974830)

Again, 5% & 95%. 5% is 500, so 95% is 9,500.

9,500 injuries that mean that they cannot return to duty. Blind in one eye may or may not be a factor. It depends upon the job. The same with deaf in one ear. The same with limping.

It seems that they're using an extremely narrow set of criteria. I would count being blinded in one eye the same as losing a hand/arm. And being deafened in one ear. And being partially paralyzed.

Re:Look at those. (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974864)

You might count them as being the same, but they're clearly not the same actual injury. We're talking accurate reporting here, not "oh that adds up to about one of these". The idea of statistics, when collected, is to get the best overall picture you can, which means being as accurate as you can. THEN you can start to understand things from the statistics, but that comes after collection. You seem to want to get rid of statistics, and just get a kind of emotion-based summation of injuries based on your perceptions of ability. genius.

Actually, many times they are the same injury. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974954)

You might count them as being the same, but they're clearly not the same actual injury.
Actually, many times they are. As was pointed out in the original article.

Many times, what differentiates between losing a limb and keeping the limb attached is what medical attention is available and how soon it is available.

Which is what the article was all about. Injuries that would have resulted in the loss of the limb can be mitigated with the new blood shunt so that the limb is not lost.

Try reading the article, okay?

Re:Look at those. (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976378)

I'm really not getting what you're saying - yes, there's been 500 major amputations, and 9,500 other permanent injuries that prevent someone from returning to active duty.

Blind in one eye may or may not be a factor. It depends upon the job. The same with deaf in one ear. The same with limping.

Well, that's true - but considering most of the injuries have come from infantry MOS's - any of those injuries is going to be enough to get them an early retirement. (Although I'm not sure about the Army's policy of retraining in a case like that.)

Re:Interesting statistics there. (4, Insightful)

lav-chan (815252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974730)

Uh. The same reason football players can't keep playing professionally after they've fucked up their knees?

Just because it's still connected doesn't mean it's still functional.

Re:Only 500? (3, Informative)

quigonn (80360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975814)

I bet a lot of the amputations don't count because they were done in the military hospital or Ramstein... just like all dead soldiers. They don't get into the official statistics of US Americans who died in this war when they die outside of Iraq, e.g. in a plane during transportation to Europe, or in a US Army hospital in Europe.

Way more than 500 (3, Informative)

spineboy (22918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975984)

A partner of mine,who was an orthopaedic surgeon in Iraq for 4 years, did over 600 amputations, and he's just one surgeon.

That number is waaay lowballing the actual number.

Re:Way more than 500 (1)

quigonn (80360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976028)

If I had modpoints, I'd mod you "+1, Insightful". Thanks for that interesting information.

Re:Way more than 500 (1)

bogjobber (880402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976218)

They're talking about American soldiers. Your friend was probably working on civilians.

They're only counting Americans (3, Insightful)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976478)

The article, and the discussion here, only considers Americans. In reality, there is probably over 10 injured Iraqis for every injured American.

The inability of the average American to even consider this can be seen as the whole problem of this war in a nut shell, if you're in a grumpy mood.

An other mathematical factor is that you can amputate 600 limbs on only 150 people.

Re:Only 500? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974430)

Well one of the factors in the smaller size of ammunition these days is that that the smaller rounds cause less immediate death and catastrophic injuries, thus requiring combat troops to treat injured colleagues rather than leave them to their fate. If they are treating injuries then they are not shooting at you and are further demoralised so the thinking goes. Body armour further reduces the injuries, especially for blast & shrapnel damage.

Re:Only 500? (2, Interesting)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975834)

Well one of the factors in the smaller size of ammunition these days is that that the smaller rounds cause less immediate death and catastrophic injuries

Not exactly true. A .223 caliber bullet [wikipedia.org] from an M-16 often causes much more damage than an 7.62mm bullet from an AK-47 because the .223 has a much higher muzzle velocity and, therefore, more energy. Of course, it depends on where on the body the bullet hits as well. A bullet striking bone causes more tissue damage and can be deflect causing further damage.

As a paramedic in an area with a lot of gangs, .22 cal wounds were very often more serious than those caused by larger calibers.

Re:Only 500? (2, Informative)

bakuun (976228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976606)

It's not just that higher muzzle velocity gives more damages. It can actually be the other way around, as well.

While I did military service (in little Sweden), for instance, we quickly learnt that the reason that a 7.62 machine-gun bullet did less damage than a 5.56 assault rifle bullet was that the 7.62 bullet passed cleanly through the tissue. (in the case that it didn't hit anything major, of course.) Having higher weight but about the same speed means that it doesn't slow down as quickly, so it "just" goes in, and then out again leaving a small outgoing wound. While, on the other hand, a 5.56 bullet would start to tumble around inside whatever it hit, leaving a _much_ bigger outgoing wound.

Re:Only 500? (0, Redundant)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974522)

The death toll definately is lower, but that doesn't mean that there aren't the same amount (proportionately) of people getting hit.

People who used to lose limbs generally died in the process. Now, they can survive when they lose the limb, rather then bleeding to death, or whatever, due to their injuries.

IANAD.

  -Eddie

Re:Only 500? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974554)

So, back in early 2004, I was still working for Uncle sam & wearing a cute little uniform. I got into a (relatively minor, compared to what they went through) accident, and spent a bit of time at Bethesda. While I was in surgery & the ICU, my wife talked to four wives of Marines who had been shipped back to the US in the last week, all of whom were expected to survive. One of them had already lost about half his leg, and two of the remaining were expected to be paralyzed. So that makes me think that this "five hundred" figure is complete limb amputations - the guys who just lost a hand or a foot probably aren't counted in there. Nor are the guys (and some girls) who might be partially paralyzed for the rest of their lives.

Re:Only 500? (1)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974576)

500 amputees sounds unlikely until you consider that there have been over 3000 killed. If you assume that a good portion of those 3000 had limbs blown off the number of total amputations would be much higher I am sure.

Re:Only 500? (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975462)

I think the term "amputate" means that a doctor in a hospital (or someone with instruments of the doctorly type) would be performing the limb seperating.

I doubt you can count the people who died and lost a limb at the same time; they wouldn't count, right? I guess, unless we have a given of this Shunt actually saving the life (and limb) of a person who is in critical condition on the battlefield.... is that what you're trying to say?

Re:Only 500? (2, Informative)

janeowit (909913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974676)

We've been hearing all along that the death toll is so much lower than previous US wars because of advances in trauma care that allow soldiers to survive injuries that were once not survivable, but we're seeing a huge increase in limb loss in the trade off.

I don't think you are quite getting that right. We are seeing an increase in the PERCENTAGE in the number of limbs amputated, from 1.4% for most of the 20th century to 2.4% in Iraq. The trade off isn't literal, there is a significant decrease in limb, as there is in overall mortality. New trauma care methods and new technology changed the divisions of the pie, but they made it much smaller too.

But there is no huge increase in limb loss.

Re:Only 500? (2, Informative)

M4N14C (873188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974868)

Most IED injuries are traumatic brain injuries. Those are concussions from the shockwave of the blast. 500 soldiers out of 3500 casualties is only 1/7th of the injuries, so why are you bitching about statistics.

Re:Only 500? (1)

Frangible (881728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975296)

One thing is they now have rather good body armor-- the Interceptor body armor system-- that protects the torso from rifle, handgun fire, and shrapnel. Combined with the helmet, that makes their core relatively safe. Doesn't do much for their limbs, though.

Further, most IEDs explode upward from the ground, thus hitting the legs first.

Re:Only 500? (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975530)

That's exactly what I've thought.
American casualties (deaths) in this war are over 3000. Statistically, in any war, the number of wounded/disabled, exceed the number of deaths by a ratio of at least 2 to 1. I've read somewhere a number of about 10,000 American troops wounded. Now, considering that most attacks come via IEDs and RPGs, I'm willing to bet that the actual number of amputees is unfortunately a lot higher than 500. Frankly, 5000 is more like it.

Too bad we don't think more often of all those who had their lives destroyed because of wars.

Re:Only 500? (1)

david.given (6740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975718)

Only 500 soldiers have lost limbs since the start of the war? Why does that sound so unlikely?

Would those be US casualties only, or would they also include Iraqi casualties too? I've noticed that US news reports tend to only report the former.

Re:Only 500? (1)

limecat4eva (1055464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976442)

That statistic doesn't include the vast number of soldiers from Poland.

500 is a pretty low figure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974434)


seeing as there over 32,000 injured soldiers

from
http://icasualties.org/oif/ [icasualties.org]
TOTAL - MEDICAL AIR TRANSPORTED 32,544

which will have to be supported for years to come
remember the methodology of land mines ? in war wounded are a much worse burden than dead as they require a lot of personnel to support them, GO USA WE CAN WIN !!!

your trillion tax dollars at work

Read your own statistics... (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974732)

Yeah, but your own link include some 18,704 who were medevaced due to illnes. I mean, the flu is pretty bad an all, but not too many people of soldiering age lose a limb from it.

Re:500 is a pretty low figure (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974748)

TFA wasn't about the war, yet half the posts so far are only about politics.

I think this blood shunt is really interesting. It's sad the /. comments are cluttered with offtopic political comments.

Can anyone find any photos? I am seriously interested in this and I can't find any.

Re:500 is a pretty low figure (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974834)

TFA said that this would not be marketed to consumers - only the military. Military technology is a political issue.

Re:500 is a pretty low figure (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976692)

TFA wasn't about the war, yet half the posts so far are only about politics.
Hang on, the subject says "Blood Vessel Shunt May Save Limbs In War".

which war are we referring to here ? WW2 ?
If there was no war, then the article subject would be about car accidents or similar.

Equality under the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974464)

Special treatment shouldn't be given to government agencies, advocacy groups, or granted based on wide popularity. The FDA should be fast tracking based on objective standards or not at all.

I dunno if I'd call it "special treatment".... (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974788)

When they approve stuff for military use only, it doesn't have the most glorious history of being perfect. Sure, maybe the anthrax vaccine [wikipedia.org] is perfect protection against that disease, but the side effects...

Why do you assume the standards are not objective? (2, Informative)

raehl (609729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975168)

You're missing part of the equation here. The 'fast-track' approval for the military (obviously) doesn't involve as rigorous testing as the standard civilian approval process.

The military is willing to accept medical devices that have been fast tracked. The civilian market is not - even if the FDA 'fast-tracked' something for the civilian market, nobody would likely use it because they wouldn't want to face the liability for using a device that hadn't gone through the 'real' testing.

You're also missing that the military environment is different. In Iraq, potential amputation injuries are frequent, and distance to proper care can be far. In the US, the usefulness of this device would be limited, as by the time someone who happened to have one of these devices got to you and it put in, you'd already be at the major trauma center anyway.

Rural and Mountain medicine (1)

SummitCO (1043824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976254)

Although the description of the procedures sounds like something beyond what most medical directors would allow their paramedics to do (military combat medicine routinely involves procedures that civilian EMS cannot perform) and more like something that a doctor would do at a combat field hospital to stabilize for transfer to tertiary care (if I got the military parlance right)... or in civilianese, it is something that a doctor would do at a Level V, IV, or III trauma center to stabilize the patient for transport to a Level II or Level I trauma center

Didn't I see them do something like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974476)

on TesticularCancerBusters on the Discoavery Channel?

War is ugly. (2, Insightful)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974508)

Is it just another hi-tech gadget to shield yourself from the reality of war? Please, just stop and take you soldiers home, our president Putin is right that the US has overstepped it's national boundaries. Starting wars on tampered evidence, fueling the new nuclear arms race and destroying the MAD balance with missile defense programs. I'm serious, please make your government stop this descent into madness.

Re:War is ugly. (1)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974668)

This is not a high tech gadget to "shield from the reality of war." It is a high tech gadget to give those who have had a first hand, up close and personal look at the reality of war a better chance of surviving that reality somewhat more intact.

And MAD is already shattered. I personally have little fear that the part of the former USSR your President Putin runs is going to launch missiles at the US.

I do worry about what happened to the nuclear devices the USSR had when it fell apart.

I worry about one of the countries my President called the Axis of Evil lobbing a missile at the US or a more geographically convenient US ally.

I worry about a terrorist group putting a device in a shipping container.

And I worry about the erosion of our liberties as our government tries to prevent some of these things from happening.

But mutually assured destruction is a quaint cold war concept - and the cold war is over.

Re:War is ugly. (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974704)

Sorry to burst your bubble, but a Missile Defense program is not to destroy your so-called MAD balance. In a true MAD scenario a Missile Defense program isn't going to do much, it's more for rogue states with minimal weapons like Iran, N.Korea, etc.

Re:War is ugly. (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974894)

Then why is it going to be placed near Russia borders?

USA is going to start another cold war. And that's after Russia has closed radio locators in Cuba and Vietnam ( http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0 0E4D91E3EF932A15753C1A9679C8B63 [nytimes.com] ).

Re:War is ugly. (1)

Dravik (699631) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976146)

Because of the path ballistic missiles will take from North Korea or China makes Alaska a good location for counter missile batteries. The proximity to Russia has nothing to do with the location.

Re:War is ugly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974726)

Chechnya? Remember who we're fighting. We're fighting an enemy who has a very clear plan to conquer the world. If we give up and go home, if you give up and go home, our grandchildren will be slaves. Islam is a religion of peace ... but peace means "submission to Islam"

Re:War is ugly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17975670)

Do you really buy the shit you are talking?

Re:War is ugly. (1)

chrismgtis (1062106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975448)

And just how do you propose we 'stop our government' from doing anything? I vote that you make a visit to the USA and do it yourself if you're so eager to make changes and know how to convince an entire government to do things you way.

I'm waiting.

Re:War is ugly. (1)

tonycif (1062912) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975684)

Yes Putin is right we should kill all of the terrorist in the theater as well as the innocent civilians. Then the terrorists might leave the US alone.

Re:War is ugly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17976772)

we should kill all of the terrorist in the theater as well as the innocent civilians
They didn't do that deliberately, initially the raid was successful at minimising civillian casualties, but then lack of proper medical care and the FSB's secrecy stonewalling on what the gas was led to numerous deaths. There's the wider issue of whether Russian actions in Chechnya are justified of course (in my view, they're not) but the tactic was sound given the situation of many armed militants wired to bombs and could have worked well.

The one good thing about wthe army/navy/etc... (1)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974568)

is that they do tend to hunt down inventions like this - bandages that can clot wounds instantly, a shunt that can save a horribly mangled limb from amputation. The army (or navy, etc.) may be focused on making better weapons, but it also does do quite a bit to help its own - including purchasing inventions like this.

Re:The one good thing about wthe army/navy/etc... (1)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974644)

What about Troy Hurtubise' Trojan Suit? You know, This [slashdot.org] one?

Re:The one good thing about wthe army/navy/etc... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975380)

I doubt a soldier would be interested in something that impaired his mobility that much. 40 pounds is a lot to wear all day.

Re:The one good thing about wthe army/navy/etc... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974880)

"This device has been used successfully by other countries, and is particularly important to serve our men and women in the armed forces who are seriously injured in combat," FDA devices chief Dr. Daniel Schultz said.
This really isn't a story about the Army/Navy/Air Force hunting down some new tech & getting it rushed through the FDA.

Like many medical advances, the testing was done overseas where the costs for medical trials are much lower. With results in hand, the companies get to skip expensive clinical trials in the U.S.A. and FDA approval is quickly gained based on overseas trials.

Better solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17974636)

Dont go to war in the first place.

Seriously, why must every outcome of any disagreement basically boil down to something you see in the school playground?

Do you realy want to live in a society where every solution is "Lets get even"?

This is not just about America this is about the World, hello, wake up.

If America was invaded by creatures from Mars the most probable reaction from average American to the question "We are being attacked from somewhere else?" would be "You mean Europe?" (yes that was a reference to the 2005 movie War of the Worlds :)

What the hell is wrong with all of you? (4, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974710)

Sure, it would be nice to not be in Iraq, but the fact remains that we're there and we're not pulling out anytime soon. Even if we were pulling out of Iraq immediately, there will be other wars in the world. This technology has nothing to do with politics, so knock it off.

I'm not that familiar with battlefield medicine, but this seems like a big step forward for it. Anything that helps soldiers (American or otherwise) do their jobs better, protects them, or helps them live better lives after conflict is a good thing.

Re:What the hell is wrong with all of you? (1)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974856)

Sure, it would be nice to not be in Iraq, but the fact remains that we're there and we're not pulling out anytime soon. Even if we were pulling out of Iraq immediately, there will be other wars in the world. This technology has nothing to do with politics, so knock it off.

No. Sorry.

:)

Re:What the hell is wrong with all of you? (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17974982)

Sure, it would be nice to not be in Iraq, but the fact remains that we're there and we're not pulling out anytime soon.
Define 'soon'. It's pretty clear that the new head general chap is doing plenty of expectation setting. See the questions in the senate hearings about the alternative plan - "Yes, of course we have a standby plan in case this doesn't work, not that we'll ever need it you understand, and yes it's basically ''get the hell out of Dodge'' (retreat to Kuwait, the Kurdish area, Saudi and back into the green zone. Oh, well, since you ask, I guess about 6-9 months would be about to time to make the call." So whether it's announced as such or not, I would not be at all surprised to see the on-the-streets US military presence disappearing well before the end of the year. September/October's my guess.

I'm just wondering whether anyone will be around to video the last chopper out, or whether the society will have disintegrated into a Beirut-style shooting war, making it too damn dangerous to try filming. Really, it all is a horrible horrible mess. Dubya has thrown away enormous US reserves (of all kinds) on an entirely futile and irrational war. The "best" outcome, from the point of purely selfish and short-term US interests, is probably a low intensity regional conflict. Sorry to say that much of what Putin said yesterday about the behaviour of the US under Dubya is utterly uncontroversial pretty much everywhere outside the US.

Re:What the hell is wrong with all of you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17975360)

This technology has nothing to do with politics, so knock it off.

Oh really? The title of the Slashdot article was "Blood Vessel Shunt May Save Limbs In War". The number of limbs lost depends on how long the war lasts and how the war is conducted. The thing is, technologies like this may very well cause the war to last longer and also cause the war to be conducted in a manner that is more dagerous to the soldiers. This effect is also seen with car safety: as roads get better, people drive more recklessly. Maybe the net result of this technolgy will be to decrease the number of limbs lost and maybe the effect will be to increase the limbs lost. The net result is not clear.

In order to assess the net effect of this technology it is necessary to understand the political factors underlying the war.

Re:What the hell is wrong with all of you? (0, Troll)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975688)

Sure, it would be nice to not be in Iraq, but the fact remains that we're there and we're not pulling out anytime soon. Even if we were pulling out of Iraq immediately, there will be other wars in the world. This technology has nothing to do with politics, so knock it off.

As sad and as sick as it sounds, the quicker American casualties mount, the quicker you guys can get out of the war. No one cares about the hundreds of thousands of dead civilians. They care about their own.

If 2,500 servicemen died on day 18 of the Iraq war, it would have been over by now and 500 American lives would have been saved (not to mention those of the Iraqi civilians).

Sorry, but to sound quote a neocon: War is war. And THIS, the blood of your sons and daughters, is both the price you pay, and the reason reason you must speak up and prevent your leaders from making it.

IMO, if you put on camo, and travel to a foreign country with an assault rifle, there's a good chance you're gonna die a horrible, painful death. It's the risk you take. Better luck next life.

Re:What the hell is wrong with all of you? (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976224)

If 2,500 servicemen died on day 18 of the Iraq war, it would have been over by now and 500 American lives would have been saved (not to mention those of the Iraqi civilians).
You mean Iraqi civilians killed by the US. The power vaccuum left with the removal of Saddam means that many more Iraqi civilians would die in civil war. Most of the violence against Iraqis is being caused by Iraqis

Just so SOMEBODY does it..... (2)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975268)

Whether you are for the war or against it, I sleep better at night knowing that there are men and women who volunteer for service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

If a serviceman/woman happens to read this and other Slashdot threads, you have my thanks and admiration.

Re:Just so SOMEBODY does it..... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17975616)

...I sleep better at night knowing that there are men and women who volunteer for service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

I would sleep better if there were more men and women who refused to serve in Iraq on the grounds that starting a war without international approval is a war crime. I would feel genuinely proud to be American. I'd be like "Yeah, those Nazi soldiers just followed orders but Americans are better. Americans think for themselves and don't let their leaders force them into fighting (and eventually losing) wars of aggression".

But, if unquestioning loyalty to leaders of questionable judgement is really what makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, then may I suggest moving to North Korea. I hear that obediance to authority is something they do very well in North Korea.

You know (0, Flamebait)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17975720)

Perhaps the title could be changed to:

Blood vessel shunt may save American limbs in war.

Not that the limbs of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties are worthy of saving, right?

Re:You know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17976136)

Except we as Americans treat all injured people on the battlefield, even our enemies. The title is correct.

Re:You know (3, Insightful)

SummitCO (1043824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976198)

Actually, a great number of Iraqi casualties are treated by US forces.
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