An analysis of medicine and hospitals in the civil war

Women as Nurses Thousands of women on both sides of the war volunteered to work as nurses in the hospitals. Anesthetics were not in as short supply as medical instruments, something highly prized.

This proved unfortunate because the city had always been considered a sickly place, chiefly because of the large open canal that stretched across town and into which much sewage was dumped.

Despite this fact, the armies the Union Army in particular continued to use Napoleonic battle tactics.

Civil War Medicine

Hammond became surgeon general and launched a series of reforms. Nurses, surgeons, and physicians rose to the challenge of healing a nation and advanced medicine into the modern age.

As a result, despite frequent shortages of some drugs, the Confederate record was a good one. The casualties at Antietam were twice the casualties suffered at D-Day.

The wounded arm, leg, or finger would just be cut off.

Behind the Lens: A History in Pictures

Confederate Medical Department organization was very much what Surgeon General Moore thought it should be. Women could be found serving in various ways in Confederate hospitals, too, but the bulk of them were hired black cooks and washerwomen.

Many thousands of volunteers worked in the hospitals and rest homes, most famously poet Walt Whitman. There were no antibiotics like Penicillin at the time, either. They wanted to go home. While no statistics are satisfactory and those for the Confederacy in a state of total confusion, it is a safe generalization that deaths from wounds were as numerous as deaths on the battlefield and that deaths from disease were more than twice both these combined.

The page discusses both wounds and diseases of the war. When loose pieces of bone and tissue had been removed, the wound would be packed with moist lint or raw cotton, unsterilized, and bandaged with wet, unsterilized bandages.

The only woman to work as a doctor during the war was Mary Walker. The sick and the wounded were evacuated to general hospitals so that empty beds could be made available in field installations when a new rush of wounded was expected.

Dissatisfied with the quality of many of the surgeons of the state troops, he insisted that to hold a Confederate commission, every medical officer must pass examinations set by one of his examining boards.

Medicine in the American Civil War

Because the overall living environment of the soldier was unsanitary, as were field hospitals and dressing stations, disease also ran rampant. Quinine, another common drug at the time, was used to treat common deadly diseases such as malaria.

American Civil War

At times, patients were not fully unconscious during their surgeries. These cases were likely to be mortal, but the operator seldom knew because the patient was soon evacuated to a general hospital. Systematic funding appeals raised public consciousness, as well as millions of dollars.

Medicine in the American Civil War

With new designs the common Union ambulance was now composed of a lb wagon that was powered by horses and was made to carry wounded soldiers.The Civil War Field Hospital at the Battle of Savage Station.

This photograph of the field hospital at the Battle of Savage Station gives the reader a better view of the conditions of Civil War medicine than can be described in words. Notice that the wounded do not. Civil War-Era Hospitals By Stanley B.

Burns, MD Editor’s Note: This essay series is written by Mercy Street's medical, historical and technical advisor, Stanley B. Burns, MD of The Burns Archive. The National Museum of Civil War Medicine features a collection of online videos and resources to bring to life a medical world which we cannot imagine living in today.

At the war’s onset, the Union had not yet established its own hospitals and most public hospitals at the time were rat-infested, dirty, and plagued by diseases like smallpox. Caring for the Men The History of Civil War Medicine. When the war began, the United States Army medical staff consisted of only the surgeon general, thirty surgeons, and eighty-three assistant surgeons.

Behind the Lens: A History in Pictures

Visit the National Museum of Civil War Medicine Follow in the footsteps of soldiers and surgeons to discover the harsh conditions, personal sacrifices, and brilliant innovations of Civil War medicine, innovations that continue to save lives today.

On his many tours of these improvised hospitals, the great American poet and Civil War nurse Walt Whitman noted in his Memoranda during the War the disorderly death and waste of early Civil War medicine.

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An analysis of medicine and hospitals in the civil war
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