Over the course of the last century notable advancements have been made in the area of medical science. In addition to improving the technology available for use in medicine, professionals have come to realize the importance of basic hygiene as a means for infection control. As such, the quality of medical care has improved drastically in recent years. Interestingly, the progress that has been achieved in this area would not be possible without an historical understanding of the problems of medical care in the past. With the realization that understanding the history of medical care is important to understanding current practices in this field, there is a clear impetus to examine medical practices of the past such that a more integral understanding of historical discourse in the area can be understood. Using this as a basis for investigation this research considers what has been written about medical practices during the Civil War.
[...] “Report from the Union Medical Director at the Battle of Shiloh.” . US Civil War. Accessed April at:
[...] For this reason, it could be argued that the Civil War was a boon to the overall development of modern medicine. While it is clear that thousands of individuals had to die in order to make this modernization possible it is difficult to identify another situation that would have given physicians the opportunity to explore the human body and the process of disease development in the manner that occurred during the Civil War. Thus, even though the Civil War enacted a huge toll on the American population, medical science was able to significantly benefit from this process. [...]
[...] Gangrene and Glory: Medical Care During the American Civil War, (Madison, NJ: Associated Press, 1998): 23. Frank R. Freemon Frank R. Freemon “Medical care, battle wounds and disease.” . Sophronia Bucklin. hospital and camp.” In: Harold Elk Straubing (ed.) In Hospital and Camp: The Civil War Through the Eyes of Its Doctors and Nurses. (Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1993): 102. Jenny Goellnitz. “Civil War battle field surgery.” . US Civil War. Accessed April at:
[...] This information has provided a broad base for understanding the complex nature of medicine during this period of time. Sanitation and the Spread of Disease A precursory overview of what has been written about medicine in during the Civil War suggests that, when compared to modern day medicine, the methods and procedures that were utilized to care for Civil War soldiers were quite barbaric. Although the methods could be considered barbaric in comparison to modern medical practices, the conditions under which physicians and nurses were forced to practice medicine were less than optimal. [...]
[...] If a splint would not work, the affected limb was amputated. Other researchers exploring the specific wounds that were incurred during the Civil War have noted that the various munitions that were used during battle had an impact on the type of wound that resulted. One of the most famous wounds recorded by physicians was that caused by the minnie ball. most common Civil War small arms ammunition was the dreadful minnie ball, which tore an enormous wound on impact: it was so heavy that an abdominal or head wound was almost always fatal, and a hit to an extremity usually shattered any bone encountered. [...]
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