Inside CBS Reporter's 'CASH' Hospital

Thanks to the trauma team at Baghdad's Ibn Sina military hospital, Kimberly Dozier is alive, reports CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer.

"She had a very powerful will to live," says Dr. David Steinbruner, a trauma/emergency room physician who treated her there.

But Steinbruner admits the outcome could have been very different. "She was near death when she came in — she'd lost so much blood in the field."

It's at centers like this where life is often restored. Doctors there say once upon a time, they were called M*A*S*H units. Now they're called "CASH" — short for "combat support hospitals."

The doctors there save lives with a mixture of sophisticated emergency room technology and old-fashioned heart.

When Kimberly arrived in this trauma room, she needed so much blood, that the hospital appealed — over the intercom — for donors.

Capt. Kerry Burroughs, a trauma nurse, says the donations came from a variety of personnel "from our staff … from the soldiers here in this hospital … and then they'll — I believe they'll hand-carry their blood as it's still warm over to the delivery point."

IEDs — the lethal homemade bombs that are the hallmark of this war — account for most the serious injuries in Iraq. There are as many as 10 trauma cases a day at Ibn Sina alone.

The victims are largely military personnel — from all the countries that have joined the United States.

Specialist Michael Potter and Sgt. Ezekial Hernandez were both casualties of the same car bomb that wounded Kimberly and killed her cameraman, Paul Douglas, her soundman James Brolan and another soldier.

These men, like all "CASH" patients, stay only for 24 hours before they're moved on to longer-term care.

But it's 24 hours that — for Kimberly Dozier and thousands like her — make the difference between life and death.

  • Joel Roberts

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