In April of 1861 the Civil War had just begun, yet according to then Surgeon General, William Hammond it was the end of the medical Middle Ages. Because of the challenges that would face the Army doctors and because of American physicians that had a very small amount of knowledge it was the end of the medical Middle Ages. The responsible medical department for the sick and the wounded was unprepared.
Early in the year it became obvious that disease would be the Greatest killer. The disease killed two out of three soldiers died of cdysentery, diarrhea, typhoid, and Malaria. In June 1861 the U.S. government created the U.S. Sanitary Commission, because soldiers from rural areas came down with childhood disease such as measles and mumps, they were not immunized. Overcrowed camps and unsanitary conditions caused a lot of diseases to out in the fields.
During this time Fredrick Law Olmstead, began to preach on the virtues of clean, water, good food, and fresh air. Preesure was put on the Army Medical Department to improve sanitations. Large well- ventilated hospitals, women also joined the newly- created nursing Corps. During the war about 560,000 soldiers died despite the efforts of the Sanitary Commission.
The Second causes of death other than disease were battlefield injuries. There were about 200,000. There were so many wounded, it became over whelming to remove them from the battlefield. In August of 1862 Union General George B. McClellan authorized the creation of a trained ambulance Corp for the Army of the Potomac, and other armies, soon after the Union and confederate did the same.
Doctors in the field hospitals did not have a clue about antiseptic surgery, so the risks from surgery were great. There was a high rate of death from post-operative infections. The doctors did not use anesthesia but rely on “ surgical shock” of battle, when the patient’s heart rate was greatest, to amputate.
Largely the 58 Calibre Minieball ammunition used during the war caused the amputation of wounded arms and legs. The bullet that was used during the war caused large wounds because of its heavy weight it shattered any bone it contacted. The wounds were in such bad shape and there were so many injured that the surgeons thought it best to amputate rather than removing the bullet and save the limb.
The efforts of the Army medical Department during the Civil War did not bring much relief to the victims, however medical advance were made as the result of the war experience. The reports that were compiled by the doctors who treated diseases such as: dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid, malaria and gunshot wounds helped researchers after the war. The studies were published between 1870 and 1888 under the title, Medical and Surgical History Of The Rebellion. By enforcing sanitary standards in the field it reduced the spread of disease. The medical army officers recognized this and saw that many, cases of post-operative infections such as hospital gang rend because of the study found a way to prevent it and they begun to use something called bromine.
During the civil war the largest achievement were the area of field hospital and personnel. When the war began staffs were small and healthy soldiers were left behind to care for the wounded. At this time, any-one could volunteer to be a nurse even if they didn’t have medical skills. Hospitals were put up where ever it was covenant.
Hospitals became permanent by the end of the war. “In 1861, Dorothea Dix was appointed Superintendent of the United States Nursed Corp, and the idea of professional nursing was born.” Hospitals were greatly improved, they were well wentilated and more permanent, cleaner “Pavillion hospitals.”
Medicines used in the Civil War at the beginning the U.S. army had 98 surgeon in their Medical Corp. until 1863 they did not have a modern microscope. They had no idea what a laryngoscope, stethoscope, or othamalscope was. They did not use hypodermic syringes to administer medicine.
Opium was the common pain killer during the war it was rubbed or dusted into the womb to num the pain or even give in a pill form. This caused many soldiers to become addicted to opium.
Florida in the CivilWar
THIS IS MY REPORT ABOUT MEDICINE IN THE CIVIL WAR!!
Florida in the CivilWar