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Transcript of Medicine
world's oldest medical journal,
As the numerous bottles suggest, the chest holds several potions that supposedly help treat diarrhea, fevers, coughs, and other ailments. unexpected from a environment comprising of poor hygiene and the cramped living spaces of soldiers in the barracks. Such apothecaries include confections of calomel, ipecac, and jalap, all of which were dissolved in liquid, usually wine or a type of alcoholic beverage, to form a solution.
were portable wooden containers used for storing vials of medicinal elixirs. Variations of this particular chests were what would typically be used by, but not solely confined to, medical officers, doctors, and surgeons. This particular medicine chest belonged to Sir Benjamin F. Outram (1774-1856), a distinguished physician and surgeon of his time. He appearing in one of the
was a cathartic potion aimed to treat loose and watery stool, a condition more commonly known as diarrhea. Considering the fairly unhygienic conditions both soldiers and civilians lived in, it was natural to encounter health issues. Diseases were rampant and bacterial infection of food and water supplies occurred regularly making diarrhea from food poisoning
or poor diet a common ailment. The cathartic properties of the calomel helps clear colons, proving to be an effective medicine in treating the ailment. Other reports, however, record instances that worsened the symptoms. These instances can be explained through the chemical makeup of the substance. Calomel, today, is also known as mercurous chloride, or dimercury dichloride, and is comprised of mercury, a poisonous element. In short, calomel, though used for medical reasons in the past, is a poison. The harsh side effects unlucky ones experienced were symptoms of mercury poisoning.
from the wound. These medical instruments were not cleaned properly, if at all, between each use causing some efforts of preventing the spread of infection to be fruitless for the procedure itself caused secondary infections. Moreover, anesthetics was not introduced until decades after the War of 1812 meaning soldiers in need of amputation experienced tremendous agony during the procedure—this made the surgeon's speed a crucial aspect of the operation. Once amputation was finished, soldiers are left to recover and received only half of their original pay as an incentive to get well soon.
comprised of instruments typically used for amputation by surgeons. They include several knives, saws, and tourniquets made from stainless steel. Knives are used to cut flesh, saws are used to saw bones, and the tourniquets are used to control blood flow.
Limbs with laceration from bullets or bayonets were often amputated in order to prevent the spread of bacterial infection
Mann also documented the treatment process of several his patients (usually soldiers), stating their name, ailment, and fate. The ones who succumbed to death were dissected and examined thoroughly with Mann recording his observations of the body's state to better understand the illness for future reference. Doing so would allow him to save lives if a similar disease arose.
of the campaign of 1812, 13, 14
is a medical guide published in 1816 and was written by Dr. James Mann (1759-1832) during the War of 1812. Mann recorded the wide array of medicines used during the time period along with their uses and side effects. Information regarding the different illnesses and diseases of the time and the method of used to treat such diseases are presented as well.
conduct the procedure. This guide also explains the uses and functions of the medical tools found in surgical kits. As a result to the insightful information found in this book, guides like these were used by doctors and surgeons as reference to conduct their operations. In times of war, when injuries were unavoidable, these guides were invaluable tools for doctors.
is medical guide published in 1761. It was written by a surgeon , Dr. Samuel Sharp (1709-1778). The guide discloses information regarding procedures and instruments pertaining to surgery.
There are lengthy explanations of how amputations were done with Sharp detailing the preparations needed to be done and how to
A Treatise on the Operations
is an art piece created by Johann Heinrich Ramberg (1763-1840) using pen and inks, and watercolors. This vibrant painting displays a chaotic scene that involves surgical operations. Whatever the artist was trying to convey, there is undoubtedly a dissonance when taking to account that such gory procedures
The Operating Theatre
were performed in an ill-suited backdrop of the beautiful and grand setting depicted in the painting.