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Civil war medicine

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Civil war medicine

  1. 1. Civil War Medicine Uses of Medicine, Medical Procedures, Medical Personnel
  2. 2. Medical Knowledge <ul><li>Medical knowledge during the Civil War was very basic </li></ul><ul><li>Infection was not understood, therefore prevention was not a concept </li></ul><ul><li>Antiseptics were rare, leading to unsterile conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Antibiotics were unavailable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore, soldiers had a better chance of dying from disease rather than from a gunshot wound. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Medical Personnel <ul><li>According to the following website, www.civilwarhome.com/civilwarmedicineintro.htm , when the war began, the U.S. Army medical staff consisted of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Surgeon general </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>30 surgeons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>83 assistant surgeons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, of these, 24 of resigned to “go south” and 3 others were were dismissed for “disloyalty”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>***a more broken down outline of how personnel was appointed and used can be found on the mentioned site under Caring for the Men. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Medical Training <ul><li>In most cases, doctors during this time only had two years of schooling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most Civil War surgeons had never treated gunshot wounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many had never performed surgery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical boards allowed “quacks” that had little qualification because of the need for personnel </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>A major killer </li></ul>
  6. 6. Related Conditions & Diseases <ul><li>Camp Conditions that lead to Medical Problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor hygiene </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of sanitation in facilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weather/lack of shelter and decent clothing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor quality of food & water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overcrowding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Common Diseases: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Malaria </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Smallpox </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dysentery </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pneumonia </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 8. Medical Procedures Cont’d. <ul><li>Due to numerous bullet wounds, surgeons became experienced in amputations. The popular lead musket balls that were used often caused great damage outside the body as well as inside. When lodged inside the body they would flatten, making it difficult to remove, therefore making amputation the only solution. </li></ul><ul><li>* Many times amputations would be performed in 10 minutes, with surgeons working non-stop. </li></ul><ul><li>* The lack of water meant they were unable to wash their hands or instruments. </li></ul><ul><li>-”bloody fingers were used as probes, bloody knives used as scalpels, and doctors were often covered in pus stained clothes.” </li></ul>
  8. 9. Deaths caused by Dysentery <ul><li>The worst out of the bunch was by far Dysentery. </li></ul><ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><li>Dysentery is an infectious disease of the large intestine. </li></ul><ul><li>What are the symptoms? </li></ul><ul><li>The symptoms may vary, but yours may have included: </li></ul><ul><li>Mild or severe diarrhoea, often containing blood and/or </li></ul><ul><li>mucous; </li></ul><ul><li>Sickness; </li></ul><ul><li>Stomach cramps; and </li></ul><ul><li>Fever: </li></ul><ul><li>Symptoms usually start 1-3 days after becoming infected. </li></ul>Union Army Confederate Army 45,000 50, 000
  9. 10. Typhoid Fever <ul><li>Typhoid was another major killer. Again this disease was a result of contaminated water or food. 1 out of every 3 people who contracted this disease died of it. </li></ul><ul><li>What is Typhoid Fever? </li></ul><ul><li>Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria, which are found in the stool (bowel movement) of an infected person. </li></ul><ul><li>What are the symptoms of Typhoid Fever? </li></ul><ul><li>Fever (can be as high as 103° F to 104° F) </li></ul><ul><li>Chills, Weakness ,Headache , Stomach pains , Loss of appetite Nausea Vomiting , Diarrhea or constipation and Flat, rose-colored rash. </li></ul>Union Army Confederate Army 30,000 35,000
  10. 11. Pneumonia <ul><li>1 in 6 people who got this disease died from it. </li></ul><ul><li>Pneumonia was more of an opportunistic type of disease. It looked for weak people to inject itself into. </li></ul><ul><li>If you became wounded on the battlefield or became sick with something else there was a good chance Pneumonia was going to find you. </li></ul>Union Army Confederate Army 17,000 20,000
  11. 12. Measles <ul><li>Measles killed a lot of people during the Civil War around 11,000 soldiers total. Not as many as other diseases did but it had its fair share. With so many people gathered in such small areas this disease was able to spread rapidly. About 1 in 20 people who got this disease died as a result of it. </li></ul>
  12. 14. Internal Medical Procedures <ul><li>Bullet wounds experienced in the torso , head , or neck would often be fatal. As were those experienced in the intestines, liver, or lungs because they would tear through the organs causing more serious medical situations like hemorrhaging, which could not be treated at that time, due to the lack of technology and blood transfusions. </li></ul>                             
  13. 16. Anesthetic Medicine <ul><li>Chloroform was used during the Civil War when it was available. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use of chloroform as an antiseptic reduced pain & trauma </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When used as an anesthetic, it was applied to a cloth and held over the patient’s nose & mouth and taken off after the patient was unconscious </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 17. Other Used Medicines <ul><li>Whiskey and other forms of alcohol were also used to treat wounds and diseases. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since most medicines were manufactured in the north; southerners had to run blockades to gain access to them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes, more needed medicines were smuggled into the South in women’s petticoats. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The South also had some manufacturing powers working with herbal remedies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many medical supplies came from captured Union stores as well. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 18. Compare and Contrast Then & Now <ul><li>*Medical Technology has come a long way since the Civil War </li></ul><ul><li>-better medicine </li></ul><ul><li>-more knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>-better equipment and facilities and… </li></ul>

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