WGBH Openvault

NOVA; Life and Death in the War Zone


EE Master Ch. 1/2: full mix, Ch: 3/4: MED

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Life and Death in the War Zone
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

NOVA’s team spent weeks living day and night with the doctors, surgeons and military staff of the 21st Combat Support Hospital in Iraq. The film follows the daily drama of life and death in a tented hospital in the deserts north of Baghdad. Building a state-of-the-art hospital in the dust and heat is a remarkable achievement, but it represents only the start of the difficulties faced by the doctors and nurses of the 21st CSH. Relief at the lack of military casualties is soon replaced by high drama and difficult ethical decisions as Iraqi victims arrive, many of them children with horrific injuries caused by unexploded weapons. NOVA shows how innovations in battlefield medicine have transformed the survival prospects of such casualties, and provides an intimate story of the struggle for survival in a combat hospital.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Life and Death in the War Zone,” 09/22/2003, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed April 21, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5A807BDCEAA6454DA525D195C4F4A494.
MLA: “NOVA; Life and Death in the War Zone.” 09/22/2003. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. April 21, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5A807BDCEAA6454DA525D195C4F4A494>.
APA: NOVA; Life and Death in the War Zone. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5A807BDCEAA6454DA525D195C4F4A494
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.