Plastic Surgeons and the Management of Trauma: From the JFK Assassination to the Boston Marathon Bombing

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Impact Factor: 2.99). 11/2013; 132(5):1330-9. DOI: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182a7094c
Source: PubMed


The fiftieth anniversary of the death by assassination of President John Kennedy is an opportunity to pay homage to his memory and also reflect on the important role plastic surgeons have played in the management of trauma. That reflection included a hypothetical scenario, a discussion of the surgical treatment of Kennedy (if he survived) and Governor Connally. The scenario describes the management of cranioplasty in the presence of scalp soft-tissue contracture, reconstruction of the proximal trachea, reconstitution of the abdominal wall, and restoration of a combined radius and soft-tissue defect. The development of diagnostic and therapeutic advances over the past 50 years in the care of maxillofacial trauma is described, including the evolution of imaging, timing of surgery, and operative techniques. Finally, contemporary measures of triage in situations involving mass casualties, as in the Boston Marathon bombings, complete the dedication to President Kennedy.

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