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CJS publishes military medicine supplement

The Canadian Journal of Surgery (CJS) has published a special supplement on military medicine focusing on caring for wounded service personnel in the future.

The supplement was sponsored by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and features clinical articles on subjects ranging from telementored trauma care to needle thoracostomy for tension pneumothorax. Dr. Vivian McAlister, CJS co-editor-in-chief, notes that in addition to articles dealing with experiences in combat surgery other pieces focus on humanitarian activities of the CAF.

In his introduction to the supplement, Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier, Surgeon General and Head of the Royal Canadian Medical Service, commended the CJS for publishing its second military medicine supplement. The first one was in 2011.

“Military-specific research and knowledge translation are critical to armed forces, which must operate in a unique context of extreme environments, exceptional physiological and psychological stresses, and extraordinary operational, occupational and environmental hazards,” Bernier writes.

He referenced the need to apply science to military health issues, and noted the involvement of many prominent Canadian physicians and surgeons in researching military medical issues. This linkage between the Canadian medical community and the CAF was also acknowledged at the annual meeting of the Canadian Medical Association last August.

CJS has published several articles on military medicine in the past and several members of the CAF serve on the CJS editorial board including Lieutenant-Colonel McAlister, Captain (Navy) Ray Kao and Colonel Homer Tien.

As Col. Tien, the National Practice Leader – Trauma for the Canadian Forces Health Services (CFHS), writes in the foreword, much of the research in the supplement was conducted in cooperation with national and international partners including the trauma branch of the Israel Defence Forces.

McAlister said all the articles were submitted by the authors without solicitation and went through the complete peer-review editorial process.

Both Bernier and Tien noted the work of Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research — a unique consortium of 37 Canadian universities dedicated to researching the health needs of military personnel, veterans and their families.

The supplement’s first article notes that the publication is dedicated to the memory of Lieutenant-Colonel Erin Savage who died from breast cancer in November 2014. Savage served as a clinician with the CFHS, and was deployed in Haiti and Afghanistan during her 17 years with the CAF.

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