The Medical Frontlines Of War

They are the wounded who survive, living, breathing testaments to 21st century military medicine, who work on the front lines of ground-breaking advancements, giving America's wounded a chance of survival like never before in warfare.

"This is a historic achievement. We've now saved more than 90 percent of the soldiers who were hit in the battlefield and how they accomplished that, how they got there is important for lessons throughout medicine about what we can do, Dr. Atul Gawande tells CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston.

Gawande is a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The difference between today's survival rate to those of war's past is staggering.

"You go back to the Revolutionary War and 42 percent of those soldiers who were hit in battle died," Gawande says. "By World War II, it was under 30 percent who had died from their wounds. And, yet, by the Korean War, Vietnam War and even the Persian Gulf War, it was around 25 percent who died.

"We didn't make a massive improvement and, yet, in this war we have."