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Medicine In The First World War

1314 words - 6 pages

World War One, in its own time, was the most destructive war Earth itself had ever seen, and this was due to the new technology. “There are two groups of people in warfare – those organized to inflict and those organized to repair wounds – and there is little doubt but that in all wars, and in this one in particular, the former have been better prepared for their jobs.” There were many advancements, disadvantages, and foundations involving medicine in World War I. The assassination of Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 started the war, and things spiraled out of control from there. With there being so many existing alliances with countries all over, almost all of Europe became involved. Eventually two sides emerged which were the Central Powers and the Allies. America had tried to stay out of the war, but when Russia backed out in 1917 America slipped in.
As America became involved we realized our medical strategy was practically non-existent, so we copied France and Britain’s plans. Our new medical strategy still contained problems that were in need of fixing. Some of these problems included sanitation and blood loss. Sanitation levels were dangerously low, baths were rare (as was laundering) , and the drinking water was contaminated with who-knows-what. But, we did know that this was causing rapidly-spreading diseases throughout camps. When a soldier would suffer a wound or was operated on there was often a decent portion of blood lost. But fear not, for solutions to these problems were soon discovered!
Sanitation was strengthened by finding local wells and getting clean pure freshwater, incinerating trash or dangerous materials, and by recruiting veterinarians to keep safe-to-eat food handy. Also, blood baths were created in order to store blood so that soldiers could gain blood using the newly designed method called blood transfusion. The blood for these transfusions were stored in flasks in an ice cooler which ensured the blood to last for awhile.
Another invention that was put to use in World War I was the x-ray. Marie Curie, a scientist who discovered radiation some years before the war, realized that x-rays could save many soldiers’ lives. This machine would emit radiation with rays that could travel through the body towards a soldier which would let doctors see if any existing injuries are there. An x-ray would allow doctors to see wounds that otherwise would have been almost impossible to notice like bone fractures, shrapnel, and bullets. This dedicated woman raised enough money to provide at least a dozen of the machines to the battlefront.
While some soldiers were able to make it to help on their own, how did the soldiers that could not make it themselves get to the “safety” of the hospitals?
Hospitals use a system to prioritize their patients in order to save supplies and resources. First are the soldiers with small wounds who are cared for and then sent back out to fight. Next come those who require transportation to a more...

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