The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour refers to the critical amount of time for emergency stabilization once a traumatic injury has occurred.

In 2009 when injured soldiers received care at slower rates in Afghanistan than their fellow soldiers did in Iraq due to terrain complications, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates established the “Golden Hour” standard for medical evacuation. 

However, significant debate surrounds the golden hour concept. How can saving a life be truly measured in real time? Is an hour too long?  Some researchers prefer to call the time needed to save a life the “Platinum Ten Minutes.” The goal of military medicine is to continue adapting to new technologies to combat the ticking time clock of survivability.

Oral History