Congress Considering Program To Help Women In Military; War Videos Prepare Doctors For Bomb Wounds

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Congress "is considering" a $3 million pilot program, that "would establish a Women Veterans and Service Members Joint Health Resource Center in South Jersey. The effort, which could be replicated across the country, would provide 'navigators' to connect women in the military and female veterans to health care, including gynecological, obstetric, and breast exams, available through the Department of Veterans Affairs and civilian facilities." The impetus for the measure, which is attached to the defense appropriations bill, came from Virtua, a New Jersey nonprofit health system (Colimore, 9/26).

In a "first-of-its kind effort," The University of California-Los Angeles medical school is producing videos of war injuries that "prepare military doctors for the wounds they will see when they deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq — particularly blast-injury wounds from roadside bombs, the enemy's weapon of choice," according to the Los Angeles Times. The videos are produced in cooperation with the Department of Defense. "Blast injuries, the videos show, are significantly more complex and destructive than the gunshot and knife wounds that the doctors have encountered during their pre-deployment training at urban trauma centers such as Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center … . Although the military has compiled other "lessons-learned" material — including a computerized trauma registry tracking more than 40,000 battlefield injury cases — the videos and accompanying text from the UCLA project are seen as a notable advancement in getting doctors ready for both the number of casualties and the gravity of their wounds" (Perry, 9/27).

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