Pearl Harbor Air Raid Analysis

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Because of the sudden attacks, the air raid on Pearl Harbor had three very unusual features regarding the injuries for the medical personnel to deal with. First, there was a great number of casuaIties received at the hospitals in a short period of time; second, many patients had been overboard at some point and were covered with fuel oil; third, there was a very high percentage of burn cases (Hayden). How did the hospitals handle all of these tragedies at once and remain successful?
Just 36 hours before the air raid, a lecture was given to all the medical personnel in the area about how to handle the quantities of wounded in an attack setting. After, they had a scenario were stress was placed on the personnel to quickly and adequately clean wounds by soap and water, followed by the surgical removal of lacerated or contaminated tissue. Three criteria were to be fulfilled: (1) obtaining normal color, (2) bleeding, and (3) muscle contraction. When this was completed, the next step was to place in the wound an adequate amount of a sulfonamide drug, either sulfanilamide and sulfathiazole. No wounds were to be sutured, but instead left wide open or to have nonabsorbable interrupted sutures placed, but not tied until the third …show more content…

Several plastic surgery clinics were set up in the United States for these purposes. After the servicemen were properly treated and were free of infection, their deformities could go under the knife. Because the plastic surgeons of the time specifically worked with war wounds, they knew exactly what the best solution for each case was with the medicine of the time. Plastic surgery continues to be a leading fixator for war-torn bodies and creates peace within the individual. Understanding the techniques of the first plastic surgeons can be beneficial in order to make modern medicine the best it can

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