During this period a physician received minimal training. Nearly all the older doctors served as apprentices in lieu of formal education. Even those who attended one of the few medical schools were poorly trained. The average medical student trained for two years, received no experience, and was given virtually no laboratory instruction. Still, another reason for disease being the greatest killer in the Civil War was the bad medical examinations of recruits.
A soldier dies of typhoid fever and is lifted out of his bed. Throughout the Civil War, camps scenes like this occurred on both sides of the fight as soldiers faced death from campsite diseases. In fact, 221, 791 Union soldiers died from disease compared to 62, 916 deaths from action. Medical records from the Confederate Army do not provide this precise of a number, along with how many men died from a particular disease, but it is estimated that 160,000 men died from disease or wound infections. Soldiers suffered from diarrhea or dysentery the most, but typhoid, malaria, typhus, sexually transmitted diseases, and scurvy were rampant as well in the crowded camp settings.
When the Civil War began in April 1861, people knew nothing about infections and what the cause of infections was. The monumental amount of wounded soldiers presented challenges for the naive medical field. A total of 620,000 soldiers died during the Civil War from combat, starvation, and from disease (Civil War Facts, 2014). For every soldier who died in combat, two others died of disease. The reason was due to unsanitary and filthy conditions, untrained and unprepared medical staff.
Retrieved October 1st, 2010, from Deparment of Health and Human Services: http:www.hhs.gov Wikimedia Foundation. (2010, May 26th). Release of Information Department. Retrieved September 24th, 2010, from Wikipedia Release of Information Department: http//en.wikipedia.org Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2010, September 19th). Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 49 million Americans without healthcare insurance and more than 10 million are non-U.S. citizens (http://www.census.gov). Because many people are uninsured and those that do have insurance pay high deductibles, Americans often dismiss the need for doctor’s visits for minor problems or annual physicals. As a result, health problems that can be detected at an early stage or prevented altogether become major illnesses. Individuals with disabilities hold one of the biggest weaknesses in the healthcare system because they cannot often obtain affordable health coverage. Many insurance companies won’t even give a policy to such individuals, or if they do, they will cover everything but their pre-existing conditions.
Throughout the years, war has been a major influence on the development of the emergency protocols present in the 21st century medical work force. Many centuries ago, some of the first war doctors made numerous mistakes that later helped current day medics to understand what not to do when treating a patient. In a world so unaware about the dangers that come along with medicine, there were fewer requirements in the training to become a doctor. In 1537 a French barber who went by the name of Ambroise Pare, was sent to the Siege of Turin as a surgeon. Shocked, but very attentive he noticed that the reason the soldiers were dying in such high numbers was because of blood l... ... middle of paper ... ...." BBC News , November 18, 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15771688 (accessed March 26, 2014).
Relief Web, 12 2010/01 2011. Web. 16 Mar 2011 UN Refugee Agency, "http://www.unhcr.org." http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e483ad6.html. N.p., 2011.
Retrieved December 28, 2010, from http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/citybeautiful/city.html Sewage treatment in Virginia (2010). Virginia Places. Retrieved December 28, 2010, from http://www.virginiaplaces.org/waste/sewer.html Urban planning (2010). World Lingo Translation. Retrieved December 28, 2010, from http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/Urban_planning
Diarrheal diseases affected almost every soldier and killed hundreds of thousands of men (National Museum of Health and Medicine, 2014). Even though surgeons used ether and chloroform consistently as painkillers, surgery was done with unwash... ... middle of paper ... ...odern-medicine-1103311.htm National Museum of Health and Medicine, (2014): “Medicine during the Civil War” Retrieved from http://www.medicalmuseum.mil/index.cfm?p=exhibits.nationswounds.page_01 Janet King, (2014): “Civil War Medicine” Retrieved from http://vermontcivilwar.org/medic/medicine3.php James McPherson, (2013): “A Brief Overview of the American Civil War” Retrieved from http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/civil-war-overview/overview.html Rochester General Health System, (2014): “Civil War Medicine and the RCH” Retrieved from http://www.rochestergeneral.org/about-us/rochester-general-hospital/about-us/rochester-medical-museum-and-archives/online-exhibits/civil-war-medicine-and-the-rochester-city-hospital/ OSU Department of History, (2014): “Civil War Medicine” Retrieved from http://ehistory.osu.edu/uscw/features/medicine/cwsurgeon/introduction.cfm