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Prolific effects of civil war on medicine - Research Paper Example

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This research paper "Prolific effects of civil war on medicine" shows that medical officers improved their skills and techniques every year the war. The researcher states that during the war, scientists, doctors, and civilians contributed to the establishment of medicine into the modern field. …
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Prolific effects of civil war on medicine
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During the time prior to the civil war, medical personnel’s received minimal training. Even those doctors who had attended medical institutions were poorly trained. This is because in America, medical students received only two years or less of training, gained no clinical or laboratory training experience due to lack of instructions. When civil war began in 1861, the army had only 98 medical doctors, and Confederacy had 24. The army recruits received only physical examination giving room for soldiers to enter the federal army camp with physical defects and chronic illnesses that would affect their performance at the battlefield as soldiers. The newly recruited soldiers were sent to large camp to gain skills and learn how to become soldiers. The first challenge they faced was disease even healthy soldiers were affected by illnesses that easily spread due to large concentration of people in the camp. In addition, the spread of these diseases was aided by poor diet of soldiers and unsanitary conditions in the camps which led to many people succumb to diseases such dysentery and diarrhea.
According to statistics given by Shryock on his website (1962), they represent the real and grave statistics of deaths and wounds incurred by the soldiers in the Civil War and how medical doctors dealt with these numbers. During the battle of Gettysburg, the Union medical corps was armed with 1,000 ambulances, 650 officers, and 3,000 drivers but within 3 days, 21,000 soldiers were wounded. This left each surgeon with 900 patients that they were individually responsible for. According to Shryock report on its website (1962), these incredibly large numbers led to many amputations due to infections. This professional medical historian, one of the first of his kind, explores the fact that medical professionals of the 1860’s did not have a good understanding of bacteria. Since then, ‘cumulative experience’ of those doctors led to the improvement of techniques in medicine. Shryock gives a reflection of how severe the wounds of the Civil War were and how medical professionals used what they had available to treat them under great stress. This assisted ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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