The experience afforded military surgeons in the management of arterial trauma has been largely responsible for the rapid evolution of restorative vascular surgery. This was particularly true during the Korean War when direct arterial surgery was first applied on a large scale.1-3 With the subsequent development of synthetic materials for grafting and the utilization of autogenous veins, this military experience was duplicated in civilian practice.4,5 Vessel reconstruction is now possible in the vast majority of arterial injuries, rendering unacceptable more conservative procedures.
This study constitutes a review of major combat arterial injuries encountered in the Naval Hospital USS Repose (AH-16), the latter providing logistic support, Republic of South Vietnam.
In the 18-month period from July 1966 to December 1967, 104 patients with 106 limb-threatening arterial wounds underwent definitive vascular surgery aboard the Naval Hospital Ship Repose. Excluded were vessel injuries of the head, neck, viscera, forearm,