Todd Baker, MD
Todd Baker is a board-certified emergency physician who served as
chief of the Emergency Medical Treatment (EMT) Section of the 86th
Combat Support Hospital. The 86th staffed Ibn Sina Hospital, Baghdad,
Iraq with it’s EMT commonly referred to as “Baghdad ER” during
the famed “troop surge” from November 2007 to January 2009. Dr.
Baker worked in Baghdad and Mosul during his fifteen-month tour, and
served time as the Emergency Medicine Consulant to the Army Surgeon
General for the Iraq theatre while deployed. Dr. Baker was awared the
Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge for his service in Iraq.
The first hour after a major trauma is know as the Golden Hour. During those sixty minutes, every step in a patient’s resuscitation can mean the difference between life and death. In Baghdad, American military personnel would bleed to death within minutes. We did not have the Golden Hour. We had fifteen minutes. This is our story.
Baghdad ER: Fifteen Minutes chronicles my journey to war as an Emergency Physician serving in Iraq with the US Army. Beginning as I am preparing to leave my wife and infant daughter behind, the saga covers each of the major events, emotions, and characters I encountered while caring for America’s finest warriors during my tour. The physical, spiritual, and emotional toll the daily rigor of caring for America’s and Iraqi’s wounded are documented, as well as many stories and events we shared during our tour.
The emergency department, or EMT, of the 86th Combat Support Hospital became a family during this endeavor. We lived, ate, and cried together, and triumphed as a unit. Our goal was to save every American soldier, sailor, airman, or marine that was carried through our doors, regardless of any horrific injury they had endured, and we eventually left with a 96% survival rate. We were their safety net; their shelter when things went wrong.