“From that standpoint, this is almost the exact same thing as the IED,” Bernard said.
As with the bomb blasts, it is the infection from the gunshot, not the bullet itself, that often forces doctors to amputate limbs or large parts of them as the infection advances. The concern with this man is that he too might lose at least one of his legs.
“Because the infection goes down into the pelvis … the only way to control it is to take his leg and part of his pelvis,” Bernard said. “We need to clear all the dead tissue out.”
For Bokhari, the man’s treatment helps explain why he wanted the Navy to come to his hospital.
“What we do here with him,” he said, “will be translatable to what they do on the front lines.”