On forging a new specialty from the crucible of war

Charles J. Prestigiacomo*, Mark C. Preul, T. Forcht Dagi, Chris J. Neal, Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, Melissa Meister

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the course of history, human conflict has been responsible for immeasurable loss of life. Care for the wounded evolved desultorily during this time, and though many believe that war has accelerated medical and surgical progress to the benefit of both military and civilian lives, many believe that the benefit may not be as significant as one might hope or believe. One cannot deny, however, that war has influenced medicine in many ways. From the evolution of the ambulance, triage medicine, and ventilated, open-spaced “hospitals,” to the development of antibiotics, mobile x-ray units, and concepts in wound care, military medicine was borne from the dire circumstances of the wounded and the desire and need to heal and maintain a healthy fighting force. More recent military medical advancements in trauma systems, prehospital resuscitation, hemostatic agents, damage control surgery, burn care, endovascular stents, and many others have influenced civilian practice. The field of neurological surgery experienced a similar revolution during years of war.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE1
JournalNeurosurgical Focus
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


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