Essay Title: 

civil war medicine

March 29, 2016 | Author: | Posted in american history, history

Civil war medicine

The Civil War is considered to be a bloodiest warfare . During the Civil War , medicinal knowledge was tremendously primordial . Doctors were not aware of seriousness of infection , and did not put much effort to prevent it . At that time no attempt had been made to maintain sterility during surgery (Alan Hawk , 2002 . These issues create curiosity to know about cure of soldiers in battlefield . Thus the main objective of this is to focus on the treatment of wounded soldiers and type of medicine used during civil war

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soldiers were resided and worked on small or large countryside areas . They were not habituated to infectious diseases such as , measles mumps , and whooping cough commonly spread during warfare . The occurrence of other disease in battlefield was diet deficiency . The common maladies were malaria , typhoid fever , dysentery , and measles . Pneumonia smallpox , yellow fever , and tuberculosis were less prevalent but all took a heavy toll of lives . To maintain hygiene , concerned citizens of the North to supplement the medical services of the Federal government formed The Sanitary Commission at the outburst of the war . This commission supplied Fresh vegetables , chloroform , brandy and other stimulants , condensed milk , beef stock , bandages , surgeon ‘s silk , and other first aid kits (Disease in the Civil War -1968 Cunningham

Major effectual drugs during civil war were quinine , morphia , and other opium derivatives . Whiskey was frequently administered to the injured to bring about reaction . To repress malaria , Whiskey was also mixed with quinine and administered daily . Other drugs were pepsin , various emetics to control vomiting , cathartics , iodine , and calomel . Oil of turpentine or ipecac , though neither was very effective for treatment of Dysentery (Thomas Sweeney M .D Medicine in the Bloodiest War

Due to deluge of wounded became simply overpowering , amputation was for the most part frequent surgery acted upon during the Civil War . Wounds might be divided among those to head , trunk , and limbs . Head and chest wounds were often fatal wounds in the abdomen that involved a damaged bowel were almost always fatal . Chloroform was mostly used during the Civil War to reduce the torment and trauma . Severe wounds to the limbs were treated with amputation because of the likelihood of infection and it would usually carry skin and dirt into the wound . The surgeons opted for only amputation as a treatment . If the wound had caused loss of a large amount of soft tissue , or if it concerned a joint , the limb was for eternity surgically removed . If it were not removed , the patient often quickly developed swelling , which would then drain large amount of pus , then , a fever would follow and in next few days , death . In short the wound would become infected and result in fatal blood poisoning . All wounded limbs were not treated with amputation . Simple fractures were set and placed in a splint . Wounds without fracture were cleaned of dead tissue and irrigated with various solutions such as potassium permanganate or dilute acid

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