Thursday, May 10, 2007

Perspective: No slow shift at ‘Baghdad ER’

BAGHDAD — A phone rings at the big desk at the entrance.

A nurse picks up.

“Four soldiers are coming in,” she yells to her co-workers.

“You’ll have to make way,” another nurse tells several soldiers lying in beds who were examined and deemed to be OK for now. They tiredly get to their booted feet and make room for the new patients.

So begins an afternoon at the emergency room at Ibn Sina Hospital. Nicknamed “Baghdad ER,” it’s one of the busiest trauma centers in Iraq.

Patients come in by helicopter, by tank, by Humvee. They walk, limp, are brought in by stretcher.

The emergency room generally is warned about a minute — or less — before the new patients start to arrive.

Read the rest at Stars and Stripes