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Medical Advancements during wwI

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Kaya Harris

on 16 April 2013

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Transcript of Medical Advancements during wwI

Introduction "With improved weapons came great destruction and mayhem. However, in the backdrop of arenas of war, physicians and scientists learned valuable medical lessons, later applied to civilian care, from the agony of the battlefields and the horrors of war crimes."
-Evelyn B. Kelly Medical Advancements During & After WWI At the beginning of WWI, doctors did not find it practical to group different blood types of donors. After hundreds of deaths due to clotting, a mandatory lab test was issued. Later on in the war when labs were not available, a few CC's of blood would be injected into the patient's arm. After a few minutes, if there was no reaction, the full blood transfusion would be carried out.
For a while, only blood type O was collected into a "Rous-Turner glucose-citrate solution ... and stored in an icebox." (The Educational Broadcasting Corporation). The blood would be stored for up to 26 hours until it was considered "bad blood". Later on doctors found that even older blood did not seem to influence the results in patients.
The first citrate blood transfusion was preformed on November 14, 1914 by Professor L. Agote. Although it was successful, it was thought to be too much work while in a war zone. "Prior to the discovery of sodium citrate to prevent blood from clotting in 1914, the use of blood transfusion was only through paraffin coated tubing and bottles, with considerable risk of the transfusion failing due to the coagulation of the blood," (Miller). Medics in the war had to be able to act very quickly and calmly to access life threatening wounds. Thousands of soldiers would have been in the care of a doctor, so treating patients had to be easy enough to care for many people at once.
Plants and natural herbs were used at this time period as well as some pharmaceutical. Some plants such as cannabis and acacia were used in sections of the war. Cannabis was used to treat stress and post traumatic stress in extreme conditions, although it was highly controversial. Acacia was used to treat dry coughs because of sicknesses. They also used some chemical drugs like Chloroform as sedatives and other uses in surgery in the war front. Blood Transfusions & Banks One new method of surgery in the battlefield in World War I was called débridement. Débridement is the removal of damaged tissue or foreign objects from a wound. There are many different ways to execute this method. One of the ways that they did it in the war was by maggots. They would insert the sanitized maggots into the wound and it would clean the bacteria and foreign objects out of it. Another way of doing it is "An anesthetic is given where indicated [local or general].... The wound of the skin, is boldly cut out with a sharp scalpel. It should be so completely removed that a clean healthy incised wound replaces the contused and infected wound made by the projectile." (Miller). Before débridement was introduced, another method was used where the wound was surgically opened and large noticeable debris was removed by hand. The wound was later "irrigated with sterile salt solution or oxidizers such as Hydrogen Peroxide in an attempt to sterilize the lesion," (Miller) and then packed with gauze. Depending on how bad the wound was, they may completely immobilize the limb by using splints. Plastic Surgery & Orthopedic Surgery People who were in the war were often hurt and scarred in combat. Their faces and bodies would be deformed because of battle wounds. They would have to live in a lifetime of pain and embarrassment; some people would even have to have years of physical therapy.
The development of plastic surgery was preformed by many doctors and dentists who worked together. The main people that got these surgeries were pilots who survived plane crashes, or burn and gunshot victims. After the war, many women discovered what plastic surgery was and in the 20's nose jobs became the rage.
Thanks to Dr. Robert B. Osgood, one of the nation's leading orthopedic surgeons, we have the ability to make prosthetic limbs as well. A lot of dangerous things came from World War one, including chemical warfare, trench warfare, thousands of deaths, famine, disease and many other things. But, because of all of these terrible things, like incredibly severe gunshot wounds due to the recent discovery of machine guns, many helpful things came out of it. A large portion of the war was the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919. Blood transfusions, new surgical techniques and new sterilizing techniques are just a few of the big advances at this time in history. Even now, many of these discoveries and inventions help millions of people every day in hospitals here, and places all around the world. The medical advances in World War I were truly lifesaving. The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 Medicine on the Battlefront New Surgical Techniques Blood transfusions were first used on wounded French Army medical corps where the first blood bank was created. WWI was also when bacteria and skin infections were treated. http://www.okmilmuseum.ca/images/Finestone%20Medics%20treat%20wounded%20in%20battle.jpg http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/etexts/WH2-1Epi/WH2-1Epi-k011c.jpg http://media.npr.org/programs/watc/features/2007/feb/face200-9bc520c26068a754325f7b46eb8f8a668c75fdd6-s6-c10.jpg http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/hommedia.ashx?id=8652&size=Small http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/h02000/h02654.jpg The Influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 was a tragic time in out history. This disease during this time killed more people in America and all around the world than the actual war itself. We are not sure where the 1918 version of the "flu" originated but there are speculations that it started in Asia (like most strands of the virus do). The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed more people than any other disease in world history. The exact number of people of those struck by influenza who died are unknown. "In 1919, a U.S. Public Health Service survey of eleven cities and towns discovered that about 280 out of 1,000 persons had influenza during the pandemic, yielding an estimated national infection rate of over 25 million afflicted Americans in 1918–1919," (Gilman). The First Portable X-ray Marie Curie was the woman who created the first portable x-ray in October of 1914. She realized that x-rays could help save soldiers' lives by giving surgeons more of an idea where bullets or debris may be located and also which bones were broken or fractured. But, all x-rays were located in hospitals so it would be impossible to transport them so far away, especially due to the limited funds because of the war. So, she decided on this invention of the portable x-ray. She convinced automobile shops to transform cars into vans so that they were large enough to carry the x-ray and at least two people. She also received many donations from automobile and medical manufacturers to supply most of what she needed for this program to take off. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3d/Marie_Curie_-_Mobile_X-Ray-Unit.jpg/220px-Marie_Curie_-_Mobile_X-Ray-Unit.jpg Discovery of Diabetes In 1915, Rollo discovered that by limiting the amount of carbohydrates ingested by a diabetic, blood sugar levels could be somewhat controlled. Most people believed that the best thing to do was completely cutting carbs out of the diet, but carbohydrates are needed to regulate the metabolism and oxidize fats. Von Noorden also came up with a strict diet plan where different foods are rotated to see which keeps the body's glucose levels steady. Codeia was given occasionally to slow down the metabolism but only used in patients with severe diabetes. Before the discovery if insulin in 1926, many diabetics were given a very short life sentences as there was no definite way to successfully monitor and correct sugar levels. Insulin was discovered by John Macleod and was first tested out on dogs which had their pancreas removed. Once it worked on animals, testing on humans began which was a success. Because of this discovery, insulin is used by everyone with type 1 diabetes so they can live a perfectly normal and healthy life. http://www.license.umn.edu/Products/Implantable-Microvalve-Device-for-Controlled-Insulin-Delivery-in-Type-1-Diabetes-Patients__Z02003.aspx
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