Point of Injury
A young American lieutenant, his leg burned by an exploding Viet Cong white phosphorus booby trap, is treated by a medic, 1966.
HN D.R. Howe treats a Marine for his wounds during the battle for Hue, South Vietnam, February 6, 1968
Treating simulated casualties during a Tactical Combat Casualty Care course on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Sept. 28, 2018. Image courtesy of Master Sgt. Matt Hecht, Air National Guard
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.