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"Medical and surgical care during the American Civil War," Topic


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American Civil War

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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse14 Aug 2019 11:57 a.m. PST

"This review describes medical and surgical care during the American Civil War. This era is often referred to in a negative way as the Middle Ages of medicine in the United States. Many misconceptions exist regarding the quality of care during the war. It is commonly believed that surgery was often done without anesthesia, that many unnecessary amputations were done, and that care was not state of the art for the times. None of these assertions is true. Physicians were practicing in an era before the germ theory of disease was established, before sterile technique and antisepsis were known, with very few effective medications, and often operating 48 to 72 hours with no sleep. Each side was woefully unprepared, in all aspects, for the extent of the war and misjudged the degree to which each would fight for their cause. Despite this, many medical advances and discoveries occurred as a result of the work of dedicated physicians on both sides of the conflict…."
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