The Civil War Era Was A Period Of Major Medical Advancement Essay

1377 WordsNov 21, 20166 Pages
The Civil War era was a period of major medical advancement. New breakthroughs during this time period had a great effect on the results of the battles and the war as a whole. Advancements in medical procedures, sanitation, infection control, field hospitals and triage, nursing techniques, and the development of the American Red Cross all greatly impacted the mortality rates of soldiers in both the Union and the Confederate armies during the American Civil War in both positive and negative ways. Amputations were the most effective and renowned surgical technique during this time period. Amputations were wildly taboo procedures that caused much controversy at the time. By some they were considered “butchery” and many questioned the military surgeons’ qualifications to perform such aberrant procedures. One doctor wrote, “The surgery of these battle-fields has been pronounced butchery. Gross misrepresentations of the medical officers have been made and scattered broadcast over the country, causing deep and heart-rending anxiety to those who had friends or relatives in the army, who might at any moment require the services of a surgeon….” Despite their contentious depictions, amputations proved to be extremely effective. As opposed to losing three fourths of their patients afflicted by gunshot wounds to blood loss and infection they now lost only one fourth of them. Amputations also proved effective in improving the lives of the afflicted soldiers. Instead of having to live
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