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Doctors at WarLife and Death in a Field Hospital$
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Mark de Rond

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501705489

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501705489.001.0001

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Reporting for Duty

Reporting for Duty

(p.8) 2 Reporting for Duty
Doctors at War

Mark de Rond

Cornell University Press

The author recounts the day he reported for duty in the field hospital. Upon his arrival at Camp Bastion, the largest British overseas base since World War II, the author saw a wounded Gurkha being treated by orthopedic surgeons and scrub nurses. Orthopedic surgeons are plentiful in Bastion, presumably because of too many amputations. The attending anesthetist let the surgeons know periodically how hard he had to work to keep up with the fading Gurkha. The next morning, the patients had all been Afghans. The author describes the mayhem that morning, which he says soon became typical fare. Despite its predictability, he admits he never got used to this prebreakfast ritual, which speaks of the brutality of humanity at war with itself.

Keywords:   field hospital, Camp Bastion, orthopedic surgeons, scrub nurses, amputations, Afghans, war

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