A September 2011 study by U.S. Army and reported by the New York Times found a dramatic increase in serious wounds among our nation’s troops serving in Afghanistan. These wounds are resulting in more limb amputations than many Americans may be aware of.
The 2011 Army study included the following results:
- Most serious injuries take place when soldiers are on foot patrols.
- The victims are mostly Marines and mostly in the southern part of the country.
- In 2010, there were a total of 18 triple limb amputations – double the number of all military amputations from 2003-2009.
- A total of 86 service members lost a major limb in 2009, 23 of them with multiple amputations.
- This number doubled in 2010 to 187. Of these, 72 lost more than one limb.
- From January to September 2011, the number had already reached 147, with 77 losing more than one limb.
The Army study also tried to understand the underlying reasons for this increase. They cite the following:
- Changes in war tactics on both sides. There are more American foot patrols, and there are more powerful and frequent explosions of Taliban I.E.D.’s.
- More soldiers being saved from dying on a battlefield due to better evacuation methods and medical treatments, meaning that many soldiers who would have died in past conflicts are now surviving with amputations.
According to a more recent February 2012 report by Stars and Stripes, battlefield-caused amputations were at a high of 196 in 2007 during the Iraq troop surge. Then in 2010 the number jumped to 205, a new post-9-11 high. But, according to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, 2011 was the most damaging ever, with 129 Marines, 100 Army soldiers, six sailors and five airmen losing at least one limb.
The Nashua disability lawyers at Keefe Disability Law salute America’s wounded for their service. If you are one of them, we can help you apply for SSA disability benefits if you find that you need them, for either a short or long period of time.
Please call us today toll free at 888-904-6847 if you need help with the SSA disability application process.