"Baghdad ER" allows viewers to experience the physical and emotional toll of war by capturing soldiers and care providers in personal moments amidst intense crises inside the 86th Combat Support Hospital. Located in Baghdad's Green Zone, the facility was formerly the site of an elite medical center for Saddam Hussein's supporters. Thanks in part to the skill and dedication of trauma center teams like the one depicted in the film, wounded troops in Iraq have a 90 percent chance of survival - the highest rate of war survivors in U.S. history. The selflessness and dedication of those caring for wounded Americans and Iraqis stands in sharp contrast with the chaos of war.
"This is hard-core, raw, uncut trauma. Day after day, every day," says Specialist Saidet Lanier, an operating room nurse. "Even if you're lucky enough not to go home with war wounds on the outside, if you're not equipped with coping skills, you'll definitely have them on the inside."
The documentary offers a taste of daily life in the thick of war, including exclusive frontline rescue footage of the 54th Medical Company Air Ambulance Team, and dangerous missions of soldiers patrolling "IED Alley," also known as "Route Irish," the most dangerous road in the world. IEDs (improvised explosive devices) are homemade bombs, which are the leading cause of injuries and death in Iraq.