Friday, August 12, 2011

Medevac team saves lives in Afghanistan

Medevac team saves lives in Afghanistan
By Seth Doane

(CBS News) Five U.S. troops were killed Thursday by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan. The number of casualties in the war has been growing, but more American lives are being saved with high-tech emergency medical care. To see how that is done, CBS News correspondent Seth Doane spent time with a medevac chopper crew in Kandahar province. All they knew was that they were flying toward a mass-casualty event. Having left the lights of Kandahar behind, the shadowy threats this U.S Army medevac team regularly face were only further obscured by darkness. Twenty-five-year-old staff sergeant Kyle Clark hopped out of the chopper to survey the scene. "I jumped out," he said. "I was on the ground maybe 15 seconds [and] they took off. You're out there by yourself. You have no idea what you're walking into." A few minutes later, they loaded casualties on two helicopters. Time was their biggest enemy. These flight medics refer to having a so-called "golden hour" -- just 60 minutes -- to get the seriously wounded to a hospital.
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