Thursday, March 20, 2008


Display of earlier prosthetics for leg and hand amputees

High-tech, titanium C-leg:
the latest and greatest in leg prostheses for amputees

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In addition to the nearly 4,000 U.S. servicemen and women, as well as countless Iraqi citizens, who have died in Iraq, nearly 30,000 service personnel have been wounded. Many of these young men and women find themselves in Washington, D.C., as in-patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Recently, the Washington Post ran an investigative series that looked at the care provided to these wounded men and women. It was equal parts uplifting and discouraging and resulted in hearings on Capitol Hill regarding the appalling state of conditions.

On the campus of Walter Reed is a unique museum run by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology that includes some really interesting artifacts depicting war and advances in medicine. I'll be featuring a few more posts about the museum in the next week or so. Today's entry features the museums exhibit on prosthetics, or artificial limbs. The advances in technology are simply astonishing and today's amputees are finding greater mobility and comfort, despite their life-altering wounds.

This exhibit, and other fascinating artifacts and information, can be found at the National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed. The museum is open to the public. To visit, you'll need a government-issued I.D. The guard at the main gate will issue you a temporary parking pass and instructions for finding the museum on the grounds of this military hospital.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 3/08


Lisa Sarsfield said...

I love this post! Great topic. The photo of the new limb is fantastic. Your right about the advances in technology and comfort. I am very greatful my daughter was born in the late 90's and not a generation before. Even in her life time I have seen great changes and more opportunities made available for her.

D.C. Confidential said...

Lisa: I'm glad we live in this time period, too! I can't imagine not having the opportunities and amenties we have. OTOH, I could live with fewer cell phones. :-)

The Artful Eye said...

Janet it is very disconcerting to hear and read about the lack of care our soldiers receive upon return from war. This isn't the first I've read.
It is alarming and living in a big military community like San Diego I hear and see these stories first hand and it breaks my heart.

I'm glad we have the technologies and the available research facilities we have today.

I can most definitely live without cellphones.

D.C. Confidential said...

AE: It breaks my heart, too. I see a lot of these injured men and women in the grocery store in my neighborhood and it's everything I can do to not start crying. It's such a waste.