Ww1 Medical History

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Hippocrates once said, “War is the only proper school for a surgeon.” War, for the medical industry, can be considered an opportunity to grow. Many times, during war, the medical industry builds as it attempts to find faster, better, and more accurate ways to treat and heal. The first and second World Wars are no exceptions. Throughout the course of World War One and World War Two, the medical industry developed to its current status through the discovery and innovations of medicine, treatments, and experiment.
During the World Wars, injuries and illnesses that appeared in soldiers and workers were usually common or similar within other patients. New weapons created in World War One, …show more content…

The path to treatment included getting help from the stretcher bearers, traveling to regimental aid post, from the motor ambulance to the casualty clearing station, and from the hospital train to the nearest base hospital. In calm periods of time, injured soldiers could be taken from the front to the base hospital in less than a day (Ahsan). Hospitals were put in any empty building, and the casualty clearing stations were usually set in tents, where surgery was performed to amputate and operate on arms and legs. In France, a guillotine similar to the one used for decapitation, was the instrument used to amputate limbs. Though this was traumatic and harsh, it prevented infection and often saved the lives of wounded soldiers (Anderson). In World War One, infection was a serious complication. There were not any antibiotics or sulfonamides at the time, leading to several different types of methods being used to avoid any other complications. An example of a commonly used alternative method was called debridement. In this practice, the tissue around a wound was cut away and then sealed. After using carbolic lotion to clean the wounds, the wounds were then concealed with gauze that was soaked with the same lotion. In some severe cases, wounds were ‘bipped’, or smeared with bismuth iodoform paraffin paste to avoid infection (Anderson). …show more content…

The British Army started the use of blood transfusions as treatment. On the other hand, it was Captain Oswald Robertson, a U.S. Army doctor, who had the realization that it was necessary to accumulate a supply of blood before it was needed. Robertson, with the use of sodium citrate to avoid the coagulation of blood, founded the first blood bank in the Western area (Ahsan). Named after a Welsh surgeon by the name Hugh Owen Thomas, the Thomas Splint was an invention that connected a fractured leg. Eighty percent of soldiers died after breaking their femurs in the beginning of World War One. Later, in 1916, that eighty percent became the number of soldiers who survived a broken femur. Due to a high number of head wounds toward the start of World War One, the Brodie Helmet was included in the average first aid kit in 1915 (Ahsan). Though not usually acknowledged, a Russian man called Filatov invented the work used on skin grafts. Additionally, ‘biogenic agents’ used to promote the “healing and regrowth of a damaged area” was worked on by Russians (Trueman). The first actual investigation of mosquito bites happened in World War Two. With the help of soldier volunteers from Australia, Sir Neil Hamilton Fairley looked into the problem, which, in 1948, helped the workings of Shortt and Graham. Work on tetanus

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