New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy
April was a month of great activity for all the MDSs, and as soon as the Division moved forward beyond convenient range of the CCS, the MDSs in turn were called upon to assume the responsibility of undertaking the major forward surgery.
Each MDS provided an operating team which was attached either to the active MDS or to the CCS. In addition, the FSU and the FTU were sent forward from the CCS to the active MDS from page 659 18 to 25 April and from 27 April. Fortunately, during that period casualties were light and the MDSs were able to keep moving. The 5th MDS, however, was immobilised for ten days by seven serious casualties, mainly abdominal cases. The other MDSs each had nine different locations.
The surgical work performed is illustrated by the record of 6 MDS team, which performed 152 operations during the month. These included six amputations, six compound fractures, five ligatures of main vessels, and two operations on main joints. One death occurred during a double amputation at the thigh. During May the MDSs were looking after the sick and also doing surgery as the CCS was nearly a hundred miles away at Mestre. In June the MDSs returned to their normal routine of caring for the minor sick as the CCS had moved up to Udine and handled the serious cases.