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Early Military Hospitals - Research Paper Example

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For hundreds of years, extreme demands of war have always driven medical innovation and advance, frequently leaving invaluable peacetime legacies .This paper traces the history of military medicine as well as hospitals and looks at the influences it has on healthcare today. Thus…
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Early Military Hospitals
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Early military hospitals For hundreds of years, extreme demands of war have always driven medical innovation and advance, frequently leaving invaluable peacetime legacies .This paper traces the history of military medicine as well as hospitals and looks at the influences it has on healthcare today. Thus in 1642, the English civil war (1642-1951) broke out and for the first time ever, MPs passed a bill that recognized parliament’s responsibility of care towards the wounded or killed soldiers in its service.1653 (the era of fist Dutch war) saw the first casualty treatment stations established by Dr. Daniel Whistler as well as nurse Alkin Elizabeth for the injured soldiers. In 1660, military hospitals were closed, something that left the Army without any dedicated hospital. First field hospitals were established in 1692, during the Nine Year’s War, by William III and were located on the battlefield .1702 welcomed the Flying hospitals introduced on battlefields and were used to transport and treat casualties. In 1752, a major breakthrough of causes of disease was discovered by Sir Pringle John who gave innovative methods of disease and illness prevention amongst soldiers. The first permanent military hospital was established in Chelsea by John Hunter who was a surgeon in 1789.In 1803; disease became the biggest killer of soldiers in war due to poor hygiene especially during the Napoleonic wars. In America’s civil war, almost 200,000 men died from enemy fire in the duration of 4 years of the war. The saddening thing was that over 400,000 soldiers were killed by disease. The Crimean prompted Miss Nightingale to request for Royal Commission specifically for military hospitals, which later was followed by critical reforms in healthcare. She played such a significant role in introduction of statistical analysis of casualty, hospital sanitation and planning as well as military health. Apart from that, Nightingale established a training school named in her honor in London. In 1863, the Royal Victoria Hospital opened at Netley in Hampshire becoming the first purpose-built military hospital in Britain as well as the new base for the Amy Medical School. The school’s first professor of military hygiene was Alexander Edmund who led to important improvements in the soldiers’ health and earning him the reputation of the modern military hygiene founder.
Anesthesia was first used by the navy in 1847 by a naval medical officer Thomas Spencer who used it for dental extraction .1853 was the year when over 20,000 died in Crimean War, of which only 1600 died in war, the rest succumbed to disease and harsh winter. Anesthesia was used extensively at the battleground. The year 1854 became one in which Nightingale and a team of other 38 volunteer nurses improved conditions when they were sent to Turkey to take charge of nursing at the Scutari military hospital. The year 1881 saw the establishment of nursing service which had nursing staff structured in the first ever key step towards a standard, uniformed service meant for the army. In 1897, at Army Medical School, Sir Almroth Wright developed the typhoid vaccine .Sooner after, for the first time ever in 1898, transportable X-rays machines were used in the Greco-Turkish War, which meant shrapnel and bullets could be located as well as removed easily from the injured soldiers.1898 also ushered in the creation of the new Medical corps leading to improvement in efficiency since a single body was now tasked with delivering of medical services (Edward, 2008).
After the dawn of 20th century, great breakthroughs were made such as advances in plastic surgery, blood transfusion and storage as well as the discovery of many more vaccines and use of ambulances to evacuate casualties. Thus immunization programs together with widespread availability of antibiotics were important in fighting disease amongst the Allied Forces. Helicopters were used extensively in the ‘50s to evacuate causalities and 1953 saw new limb-saving surgical techniques aimed at repairing damaged arteries and veins. Military hospitals have thus tremendously improved as compared to the earlier ones (Edward, 2008).
Works cited
Edward, McCallum. Military Medicine:From Ancient Times to the 21st Century. New York: ABC-CLIO,Inc., 2008.
John, Haller. Battlefield Medicine:A History of the Military Ambulance from the Napoleonic Wars Through World War 1. New York: Southern Illinois University Press, 2011. Read More
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