Nursing And Medicine During World War I

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Nursing and Medicine During World War I

Sydney DePaolo
Ms. Beck
Honors World Cultures
Period 3
19 May 2017

Women in Nursing and Medicine in World War I All the principals on the western front drew on large numbers of nurses to serve in military hospitals during World War I. Women played an essential role in helping and saving other’s lives. They often performed dangerous work and experienced the horror of the war first hand. There were thousands working as untrained midwives and nurses in everyday civilian life. As war approached, there was only three hundred experienced professionals. Nurses, in most cases, were not warmly welcomed. Throughout World War I, nurses and women faced many challenging battles with diseases and
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When the United States entered the war in 1917, the army did not have an established medical corps. Many people were infested with diseases and wounds became inevitably infected. Nurses often found themselves dealing with mutilated soldiers and dressing horrible wounds. Some of the main diseases that nurses and soldiers dealt with were trench fever, typhoid, influenza, malaria, and trench foot. These were all mainly a cause of being exposed to crucial living conditions.
The two main causes of diseases were trench foot and trench fever. Trench foot was caused by exposure to wet and damp areas and potentially took up to six months to completely heal. It essentially became an epidemic during the war. Men were forced to rub whale oil on their feet and did “stamping drills” that involved stomping and rubbing their feet to get the blood flowing. Trench fever also played a large role in the fatalities of soldiers. It is a bacterial infection that causes repeated cycles of high fevers. It can passed from person to person through body lice, overcrowding, and bad hygiene.
Military medicine had not changed much in the fifty years since the American Civil War. Nurses only had salt water to rinse wounds and there was no medication to stop infections once they started.Thousands lost arms, legs, and even their lives. Overtime, doctors developed new ways to treat burns, tissue damage, and contagious diseases. Doctors soon learned how to conduct blood transfusions
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