Medical Treatment in Stages

Medical Treatment in Stages

 

in the USSR, a system of organized medical assistance to the sick and wounded in a combat zone that allows treatment to be combined with evacuation.

In wartime, because of the high rate of military medical casualties in a limited area over a very short time, it is essential to evacuate the wounded. The evacuation procedure endangers the evacuees’ condition, so that medical care and treatment must be provided in stages. Casualties are given first aid on the battlefield or at the focus of mass destruction, after which they are removed from the site and brought to the first medical evacuation stage—the regimental medical station, where they are first treated by a physician. They are then evacuated to the next stages—namely, to medical battalions where qualified treatment is available, and then to a hospital either at the front or in the rear where specialized assistance can be given, including such highly specialized treatment as neurosurgery.

Unless organized according to a single standard, such medical treatment in stages would inevitably entail the use of different methods of treating the sick or wounded when the various stages of evacuation are far apart. Medical treatment in stages must above all avoid the danger of different treatment approaches; continuity must be ensured through the use of standard treatment methods for each type of injury or disease at every stage of the evacuation. Regardless of the stage, every physician knows exactly what type of treatment was provided to each casualty at the preceding stage and continues with the same treatment, using the same, scientifically valid methods developed by the highest military medical authorities.

Medical treatment in stages has also been adapted for use in natural disasters involving massive losses of human lives, as well as for the management of certain categories of patients; in cases of tuberculosis or myocardial infarction, for example, treatment is often provided successively in a hospital, in a special sanatorium, and on an ambulatory basis.

I. P. LIDOV

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