Glimpsing Modernity: Military Medicine in World War I by Stephen C. Craig, Dale C. Smith

By Stephen C. Craig, Dale C. Smith

Glimpsing Modernity is a set of papers offered on the US military clinical Museum-sponsored convention on scientific elements of the 1st global struggle held in San Antonio, Texas, in February 2012. It captures the metamorphosis of army medication through the struggle in a sequence of inter-related vignettes. a few of these tales supply new and insightful interpretations of identified army clinical subject matters, whereas others go away from those to envision much less famous, yet actually very important clinical subject matters.

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But more often a projectile, especially irregularly-shaped shell splinters, tumbled through the body, ripping internal organs and shattering bone, before leaving a ghastly exit wound. Flesh was lacerated and contused, body parts were torn away and crushed. Surgeon William Boyd recounted the horror of face wounds: “the nose, eye, and a greater part of the cheek had been torn away, leaving a great red, bleeding cavity” (Boyd, 1916, 26). Before the advent of penicillin, almost all stomach and abdominal wounds became infected, with men dying in agony (Clutterbuck, 1920, 428; and Archibald, 1917, 298–306).

Strathy diary, 5 October 1917). Rum was administered for the pain, as well as morphine, if it was available. If morphine was given, a “M” was penciled on the forehead with iodine to ensure that the next link in the medical chain did not also provide pain relief that might lead to an overdose. All-important cigarettes were lit for the shattered men and usually provided instant relief. Once a patient was stabilized, the bearer team then set off with the wounded man, winding through the trenches to the field ambulance.

Hyde: Canadian Regimental Medical Officers 39 had proper lighting, a supply of medicine, and a slightly more antiseptic environment. The wounds were of every size and nature. Bullets could pass straight through the body, leaving minor entry and exit wounds. But more often a projectile, especially irregularly-shaped shell splinters, tumbled through the body, ripping internal organs and shattering bone, before leaving a ghastly exit wound. Flesh was lacerated and contused, body parts were torn away and crushed.

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