Medicinal Development during the American Civil War Assignment

Medicinal Development during the American Civil War Assignment Words: 1774

Medicine has developed so dramatically over the last century that it is difficult to imagine a world in which its many benefits did not exist. Even as humans manage to eradicate some diseases, a look at history reminds us that there was a time when these and other diseases were rampant, and good health was the exception rather than the norm, There are many comparable time periods that medicine was needed and was used. With each, there were drastic changes to medical procedures and medical rules.

Of the many different time periods that medicine was used; the comparison of medical care during the American Civil War and medical care during World War I is the most interesting. How did Civil War battlefield medicine compare with World War I battlefield medicine? That’s a question that cannot be simply answered, but can be broken down into the overall sanitation of individuals, medical techniques, and overall medical staff for armies. From 1861 to 1865 our nation’s deadliest conflict was being disputed.

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The American Civil War had more Americans die than in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, he Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War combined. ( Ballot) Approximately 600,000 soldiers and 100,000 civilians died. Of all these casualties, three-fourths died from wound Infections or infectious diseases. ( Ballot) About 10 million soldiers became Ill at some point during the cell war. A huge reason for this Is because many men came from small towns and isolated farms. Individuals had never been exposed to disease.

This resulted in millions of soldiers getting sick. ( Morris ) Of all the many deferent sissies that were going on during the Civil War, typhoon fever and malaria were one of the deadliest. ( Morris ) Minor infections viruses also were a problem. The lack of hygiene In camps, caused diseases to spread from soldier to soldier by infected drinking water, contaminated food and disease-bearing mosquitoes. World War I was a horrifying war that ultimately open the door and revolutionized medicine. With horrors that had never been seen: more then 37 million troops were counted as dead, wounded or missing at war’s end.

Treating those casualties was a enormous task to fulfill. Kisser) Doctors were overwhelmed with the massive numbers of casualties with torn flesh and limbs from battle. The dirt of the battlefield hospitals led to the rapid spread of Infections. To cope with this, doctors amputated whole limbs, where before the war they would have been able to save most of the leg or arm. This was the only way they could stop the spread of infections as the soldiers moved away from the battlefield. During the Civil War there was few available surgical supplies and absolutely no plans to evacuate wounded soldiers.

Most injured soldiers were forced to lay on the ground for days with many dying by officiating In their own vomit and simply from dangerous infection. ( Lax ) Medical treatment was so Inefficient and basically not provided that most soldiers Just died If medical camps. Though these camps did exist, physicians themselves lacked understanding of diseases and human physiology. ( Lax ) Once a soldier became ill, he could expect little help from his doctors. One might ask, “what was the point of the physicians then? ” Physicians actually made matters worse by violating the most basic of all medical principles.

First, do no harm. ( Morris ) Doctors were very quick to restrict many different types of drugs at the first sign of illness. Opium, morphine, quinine, strychnine, turpentine, laudanum, blue mass, belladonna, silver nitrate, sulfuric acid and iodide of potassium were among the most commonly prescribed medicines. When those treatments did not work, doctors decided to go back to the more primitive methods of treatment such as bleeding, cupping, blistering, leeching, binding and chafing. ( Morris ) The most widely prescribed and the most dangerous drug was calmed.

Calmed is murderous chloride. It is dissolved in a chalky, bitter- assisting liquid and was used in massive doses for virtually every disease that Civil War physicians encountered. Some side effects of this drug was hair loss, teeth loss and basically the rotting of the mouth. ( Morris ) Wounded soldiers, particularly those who underwent amputations in the institute conditions of Civil War surgery, frequently developed postoperative infections. The most dreaded was payment, or “pus in the blood,” which had a mortality rate of 97. 4 percent. Morris ) As unenlightened as those practices seem to us, today’s treatments also may be viewed by future physicians with dismay. Civil War doctors did the best they could with the knowledge they had. It would not be until the end of the war, in 1865, that English surgeon Joseph Leister would introduce antiseptic into operating rooms and thus vastly lower the fatality rate of surgery by almost 50%. ( Lax) A Rebel that wrote home stated it perfectly, “The big Battles is not as Bad as the fever. ” ( Morris ) Dodging bullets was easy compared to getting away from microscopic killer organisms.

During World War l, the first priority of a wounded soldier was to keep him warm and to prevent him from going into shock. The next step was too clean and bandage the wounds. Broken limbs were splinted and the patient also was given a tetanus shot to prevent infection. (Kisser) Dead tissue was cut away when the wound was cleaned, and Doctors had to be extremely careful to remove any bits of clothing or other foreign matter that could turn a wound septic. Then the soldier would be made as comfortable as possible until a field ambulance could transfer him to a dressing station.

World War I gave us blood banks that made possible blood transfusions among wounded soldiers. Medicine was pushed further along the path to modern mound management, including the treatment of cellulite wound infections, and bacterial skin infections. ( Steepness ) Battlefield surgeons were quick to appreciate the need for thorough wound debasement and delayed closure in treating contaminated war wounds. The prevalence of central nervous system injuries led to profound insights into central nervous system form and function. Steepness ) Unwilling to accept the gross disfigurement of downed pilots who crawled away from smoking wreckage’s with their lives, but not their faces intact started up momentum of development of reconstructive surgery by inventive surgeons. Steepness ) World War I was a miserable and bloody medical challenge. American armed forces suffered more than 318,000 casualties. When the United States entered the war in States army medical branch took French and English medical systems that had been in use.

These systems had military medical staff arranged in a particular manner. Stretcher-bearers first came into contact with the wounded and moved them from trenches to waiting ambulances. The first aid treatment these medics gave often saved lives. ( Campbell) Not only did men care for the wounded but thousands of women volunteered as nurses. Many women work up to fourteen-hour days in the hospitals. They often had to come back on duty when hospital trains arrived with more wounded soldiers.

Nurses also served in evacuation hospitals only eight or ten miles behind the front lines and well within the range of German artillery. Wounded soldiers remarked that having female nurses as part of the medical staff was very important. Their skillful care saved many lives, and they reminded the injured of their mothers, wives, girlfriends, and sisters back home. ( Campbell) Military drugs had not modified enough within the fifty years since the Civil ar. There for doctors were slow to know the link between exposure and as a result infections set in quickly in dirty battlefield hospitals.

As doctors became additionally aware of this problem, they had to make sure that the wounded were delivered to the operating table within twelve hours or the danger of infection greatly augmented. There was salt water to rinse wounds, and there was no medication to prevent infection once it had started. Thousands of men lost arms, legs, and even their lives. Advances in some medical techniques kept pace with the mass destruction of war. The quality of American base hospitals increased as their medical staffs grew. Campbell ) History reminds us that there was a time when diseases were rampant, and good health was the exception rather than the norm. Drastic changes to medical procedures and medical rules Racine throughout history. Through sanitation of individuals, medical techniques, and overall medical staff for armies. The comparison of medical care during the American Civil War and medical care during World War I can be answered. How did Civil War battlefield medicine compare answered, but can be greatly entertained. A major conflict in the United States’ history is the American Civil War.

Many causes led to the Civil War. This all happened around the mid sass. It was a conflict between the Northern and Southern states. Both sides had their own view on slavery, and their separate views caused contentions between the two. Both had different views on whether to expand or stop slavery growth to the West, or have slavery at all. The biggest cause was a social difference between slave and anti-slave states. Also, the growth of the abolition movement added to the turmoil. Most importantly is the and gained from the Mexican War, and what should be done with the land gained.

To try and resolve the conflicts over the land, congress kept making compromises. The first major compromise was the Missouri Compromise, which was an imaginary line across the thirty-six and thirty degrees latitude. Anyone above was a free state and anyone below was a slave state. However, when new lands were added to the United States, people did not want slavery to expand and created the Willow Proviso began to split, but at the middle of the century people views started to become more concrete and so separation in the Union became more drastic.

From 1850 to 1861 it was apparent that the union was separating into the North and the South. The Constitution played a major role in the separation that was occurring. Through sectional favoritism of bits and pieces of the Constitution and through ideas that were left out of it, the Constitution led to sectional discord and nearly the failure of the union. A major issue that caused major sectional discord was the constitutionality of slavery. In the constitution there was no mention of slavery of fears that it would divide the nation, but this very idea did cause division.

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