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Dispatches from the editor: highlights of the September 2018 issue
  1. John Breeze1,2
  1. 1 Academic Department of Military Surgery and Trauma, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Division of Plastic, Maxillofacial, and Oral Surgery, Duke University Hospital, Durham, USA
  1. Correspondence to John Breeze, Academic Department of Military Surgery and Trauma, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham B15 2SQ, UK; editor.jramc{at}

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Welcome to the September issue of the Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps, containing 18 original submissions covering the breadth and depth of current military medicine.1–18 Transfusion support is a critical component of modern combat casualty care, and we lead this issue with an article that focuses on the potential utility of blood salvage technology and autotransfusion after combat injury.1 Lewis et al 4 have published their review of the use of opioid analgesia in Afghanistan, finding it had been used in 5801 casualties with a very low complication rate of 0.24%. The article by Carter and Gay5 highlights the continued importance of focused assessment with sonography in trauma in aiding decision-making in the austere environment where access to CT may still be limited.

We have three articles from the Academic Department of Military Mental Health based at King’s College London.10 14 16 Harden and Murphy10 identify the risk factors of suicidal ideation in a population of UK military veterans seeking support for mental health difficulties. Thandi et al 14 review the caregiver burden in spouses and partners providing informal care to wounded, injured or sick military personnel. Gribble et al 16 review the hazardous alcohol consumption among spouses or partners of military service personnel. These papers are complimented by Godier and Fossey’s13 review of sexual violence and harassment in the UK Armed Forces.

Wilkins et al 15 have reviewed the most medically significant species of venomous snake present in Africa and Europe, before suggesting an evidence-based approach to snakebite prevention and management, and these are likely to be incorporated into the UK’s Clinical Guidelines for Operations. The journal continues to publish footnotes and endpieces, reflecting our commitment to supporting pertinent articles that contribute to the history of military medicine as a whole.18 We finish with a letter to the editor coauthored with the Surgeon General, and I am grateful to General Bricknell for his continuing support of the journal.17



  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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