by Todd Baker, MD


Have you ever witnessed a car accident or seen someone break a bone? When was the last time you experienced something truly traumatic? Now imagine if that happened every single day, all day long. Baghdad ER: Fifteen Minutes is the firsthand account of the horrors and triumphs medical workers faced while working in Baghdad. Written by Emergency Physician for the US Army, Todd Baker MD, the book gives an inside look at the amazing feats accomplished by American soldiers every day.

Over several years, Baghdad ER had an American survival rate of 96%, which is truly incredible considering the magnitude of the injuries medics were faced with on a daily basis. So incredible, in fact, that the cutting-edge techniques used in Afghanistan and Iraq are now being brought home to U.S. hospitals.
“The first hour after a major trauma is known as the ‘Golden Hour’” says Dr. Baker. “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 in minutes. We did not have the ‘Golden Hour’. We had fifteen minutes.”

Baghdad ER: Fifteen Minutes chronicles Dr. Baker’s journey, beginning as he is preparing to deploy and leave his wife and infant daughter back in the states. The book covers each of the major events, emotions, and characters he encountered. It documents the daily rigor of caring for wounded Americans and Iraqis, as well as the humorous and more light-hearted side of his experience.
“The emergency department of the 86th Combat Support Hospital became a family during this endeavor” explains Dr. Baker. “We lived together, ate together, cried together, and triumphed as a unit. Our team of thirty or so members cared for thousands of American military soldiers, state department personnel, contractors, and Iraqis alike.”

The hospital where Dr. Baker worked was also the first hospital to be directly targeted by enemy since the Vietnam war. He and his team endured more direct hits by enemy rockets and mortars than any American hospital since that time. Working in this kind of high-stress situation requires a team full of courageous and trustworthy people, who form a bond so strong that nothing can break it. It may come as a surprise to most that many of the medics working on Dr. Baker’s team were young men and women aged 18-20.

Baghdad ER: Fifteen Minutes is a book for all Americans, whether you know an American soldier who fought in Iraq or not. The book explores the horrifying injuries Dr. Baker and his team treated on a regular basis as well as:

• How military personnel let loose and had fun

• The sixteen army medics who saved lives with little medical training

• Soldiers who risked their lives to help save their enemies

• The incredible efficiency and effectiveness of Baghdad ER

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. In 2006 he joined the medical staff of Madigan Army Medical Center where he served as an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine for the University of Washington. During his fifteen-month tour, Dr. Baker served as the Emergency Medicine Consultant to the Army Surgeon General for the Iraq theater. He has been published in multiple medical journals during his seven plus years serving in the Army including Annals of Emergency Medicine and EM Clinics of North America. His academic interests focus on emergency ultrasound techniques and trauma resuscitation and he was instrumental in updating the medical ultrasound systems used in combat support hospitals throughout Iraq. His military decorations include the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge, and the Meritorious Service Medal among others. Ten percent of the proceeds from his book Baghdad ER: Fifteen Minutes will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Foundation. For more information, please visit

Baghdad ER: Fifteen Minutes is available on



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