The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

January 20, 2012

Experience in war surgery

Charles J. Middleton, MD, FACS

TARBORO — Letter to the Editor:


I read with great interest and appreciation the article "Welcome Back Dr. Fike" in the January issue of the Tarboro and Homes Magazine. I am a staff general surgeon employed at the Heritage Hospital. In 1971, I served in the same capacity at the 24th Evacuation Hospital, Long Binh, Vietnam. Before I was allowed to work independently caring for our combat injured GIs (as well as those of other countries and Vietnamese civilians), I was directed by our chief of surgery to work with orthopedic surgeons for two weeks.


I learned from our several orthopedic surgeons how to manage the complex soft tissue wounds seen in combat situations, high velocity and blast wounds I never saw in my residency training at Hartford Hospital. I will always be grateful for what I learned from them and for the lives they helped me save.


Tarboro is very fortunate to have the services of Dr. Ed Fike and his experience in war surgery, and those of Dr. Mark Petruzziello, my general surgery colleague, who trained and served in the Navy for several years.


Charles J. Middleton, MD, FACS