Wounded Casualties and Healthcare Treatment in the Civil War

1634 Words7 Pages
CW Research Paper Since more people died from disease and infection than from injuries, the American Civil War’s new developments were important and helped change the face of the war for the better. The conditions and sanitation in the hospital tents were gruesome. There were people moaning in agony on the floor and blood everywhere. Poor sanitation led to diseases and sickness. Wounds wrapped in dirty bandages led to infections. Doctors didn’t understand germs and didn’t know how to treat them. Amputation was very popular. Surgeons would cut off limbs and hope that the patient didn’t die from blood loss or other infections. Doctors didn’t have antibiotics. They used anesthetics like chloroform and alcohol. Inventions like the evacuation, ambulance, and triage systems were important and saved many people. The Confederate Medical Department was formed and recruited doctors and nurses. They set rules to try and save lives. Doctors and nurses didn’t always have medical experience but they shared new ideas and improved methods. Despite its barbaric and brutal reputation, medical care during the Civil War helped dawn a new era of modern medicine for they developed a better understanding of sanitation, infection, and disease, found new anaesthetics and medications, and created ambulance, evacuation, and triage systems. People during the Civil War didn’t understand the importance of proper sanitation so as a result, the conditions in most medical field hospitals were shamefully filthy and lead to disease and infections. Surgeons didn’t wash the bloody tables and thought that washing their tools and instruments was unimportant after amputations. The small areas in which large numbers of soldiers lived were an excellent breeding plac... ... middle of paper ... ...”). From that information, Doctors and nurses wrote medical procedure manuals as they learned, inventing protocol and demanding better. By 1863, every doctor in the Union had to take an exam, do an apprenticeship, and receive a standard set of supplies that included a kit with all of the tools needed to amputate and perform many medical tasks. In addition, every doctor received barrels for storing water for sanitary purposes (“A Turning Point”). There was better medical care than was ever seen before and eventually the care that was for soldiers was used in the general population. Even though it had a bad reputation, medical care during the Civil War helped dawn a new era of modern medicine for they developed a better understanding of sanitation, infection, and disease, found new anaesthetics and medications, and created ambulance, evacuation, and triage systems.

More about Wounded Casualties and Healthcare Treatment in the Civil War

Open Document