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The Evolution Of Medicine:
Transcript of The Evolution Of Medicine:
Discoveries and Advances
• Bathes for people in general were few and far between. People did not brush their teeth or wash their hands often which can make a big difference in disease prevetion.
• Overcrowding caused disease to spread rapidly, soldiers often slept in cramped barracks causing disease to easily jump from person to person, this could lead to an entire battalion becoming ill.
• Water wasn’t pure, often sewage lines were dug too close to the streams, polluting the water even if the water wasn't polluted by sewage it wouldn't be purified and often cause what we now call food poisoning which lead to diarrhea and then could be spread throughout the camp and often into the main water supple
Cleanliness In Camp
Cleanliness in Hospitals
Hospitals were often just a row of tents with all of the ill crowded within.
By the end of the war they had changer their tactics by switching to uncrowded well ventilated that provided good food that promoted improvement in the soldiers condition but in field hospitals they didn't really have that option. Often the were laying the wounded shoulder to shoulder on tarps for lack of space.
When doctors went from one patient to another they didn't sanitize themselves in any way so doctors almost did as much damage as they did help because of the disease they helped spread.
Out of the wounds recorded from the Civil War, at least 70% were in the extremities. The closer to the body, the slimmer chance of living...
Hip: 83% mortality rate
Upper arm: 24%
The Advances part of Discovery...
Female nurses came into play
Pre-medical training was improved immensely
Sanitary Commission- led to the American Red Cross
New Medicines Discovered
The Evolution of Medicine:
The Civil War
Can you imagine dying from an amputated pinky toe??
Having to deal with wounds like this, surgeons were often ill prepared for what awaited them. In the North, 4.5% of doctors had previously done surgery, and in the South only .9% of surgeons had performed surgery before.
Because they were continually rushing from patient to patient, surgical perfomance lacked quality and desired results.
For cutting tissue and bandages
- Used for seizing and holding body parts during surgery, such as arteries etc.
For removing Minie Bullets and other unwanted debri
Rasp for smoothing down the bone stub
First, the surgeon would cut through the skin and muscle, but left a flap on the opposite side.
Next he sawed off the bone, smoothing down the edges as he went.
He then pulled remaining flap back over the apmutated limb and sewed it shut.
Sanitation became a necessity
People realized the need for immediate action with critical wounds
Kagan, Neil, and Stephen G. Hyslop. Eyewitness to the Civil War: The Complete History From Secession To Reconstruction. Washington, D.C., 2006. Print
Camps were in a word disgusting in previous wars farmers would cart away the slop for money to use as fertilizer, but this often didn't happen during the civil war causing camp to be feet deep in putrid mud filled with disease and rotting food and limbs that have been have been amputated.
Food was often contaminated with disease by insects that had been feeding on the rancid bodies of fallen soldiers.
The understanding of disease was very limited, germs were not discovered until years after the civil war.
Doctors would often come from examining corpses in the morgue and go to take care of patients or go into surgery without washing their hands or anything because hand washing and basic hygiene procedures were not in place
Wilbur, C. Keith, M.D. Civil War Medicine. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995. Print
Wheelock, Julia S. The Boys in White; The Experience of a Hospital Agent In and Around Washington. New York: Lange & Hillman, 1870. Web. 10 Feb. 2014
n.a. Below Knee Amputation
Golden Group Inc. "Medical Exhibits, Demonstrative Aids, Illustrations and Models. Web. 10 Feb. 2014
Jenny Goellnitz. Stonewall’s Surgeon. Monticello Catalog, 1997-2006. Web. 10 Feb. 2014
Casualties and Medical Care. n.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014
Jenny Goellnitz. EHistory Archive. USCivilWar.Net, 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2014
Hermann Hernstein & Co., Horatio G. Kern, George Tiemann, D.W. Kolbe, Wade and Ford, Snowden, Gemrig, Kuemerle, Helmold, Otto & Reynders, Max Worcher, Brinkerhoff, Rees, Codman and Shurtleff, Tiencken. Civil War Medical Books. n.p. n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014
Janet King. Vermont in the Civil War. Tom Ledoux & Associates, 1996-2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2014
Hospitals were reconstructed- everything from the structure and place of the building to the management of the wounded.
By Alex and Sidney
n.p. n.t. DisasteRx Web. 11 Feb. 2014
Amputation being performed in hospital tent, July 1863, Archives.gov. Photograph, February 11, 2014
Many surgeries were performed outdoors due to easy clean up, when weather was good.
Field hospitals were extremely dirty and crowded and were flooded with new patients needing urgent attention after each battle.
Tents were dim and had poor light so this added to the list of reasons to have surgery outdoors.
This didn't necessarily increase survival rates because most surgeons were very inexperienced and gangrene was very common, when a soldier went under the knife chances at survival were very slim.
Well, id say im pretty aware...
Anesthesia was rarely used until the discovery of chloroform. It became a more commonly used anesthesia making surgery easier and more successful.
At the beginning of the war there wasn't a system to get wounded soldiers to the field hospitals quickly.
Hospital Design changed and is still a basis used today:
Procedures to prevent the spread of contagious diseases