(Michael's Blog On The Topic Linked To Pic)
...(read more)...Last July, I was interviewing Michael Yon live from Afghanistan when a gunshot went off, and Michael had to conclude the call quickly. That turns out to be the accidental shooting that Michael describes in his post today, a shooting that nearly took the life of a British soldier. Instead, the soldier is now recuperating, thanks to the innovative Novalung, the American and British military commands, Soldiers Angels, and Yon himself:
Soldier X had been shot in the abdomen and chest, losing his right lung and damaging his liver, according to the US military Stars And Stripes newspaper. Another American military report said his blood supply was replaced more than ten times, and that he was transfused with 75 units of blood and another 75 units of platelets.
He was alive – but only just. He needed specialist equipment to do what his lungs could not: provide oxygen to his blood and remove the carbon dioxide built up in its passage through his body. He needed an artificial lung and intensive care within hours. Such equipment was available at hospitals in Britain, nearly 4,000 miles away, but Soldier X would almost certainly die on the long flight.
He needed a portable, low-pressure artificial lung and the Americans offered to help. But the bureaucracy of moving from the British to the American military system meant that valuable time was being lost. …
Contacted by a quick-thinking British doctor at Camp Bastion, Mr Yon sent an urgent email to a group of American civilian volunteers called Soldiers’ Angels near Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where most American casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan are initially sent.
The volunteers, founded by the great-niece of General George S. Patton, alerted the US Army’s nearby Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Acute Lung Rescue Team, which specialises in going straight to the aid of soldiers with severe lung problems.
And within an hour, the team was in touch with doctors at the nearby University of Regensberg who had access to a revolutionary portable artificial lung called a Novalung. The still experimental German-made machine takes over much of the job of circulating blood, filling it with oxygen and filtering out the carbon dioxide without the use of the mechanical pumps in the older Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machines, which have been known to cause damage to a patient by forcing the blood around the body.
(Event happen at the 19:45 mark)