Limitations in Civil War Medicine

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From 1861 to 1865, civil war broke loose and resulted in the many deaths of Americans. The blame for this tragedy is not due to the conflict alone, but due to the standards of medicine during the mid 1800s. Today we have the luxury of antibiotics and anesthetics to cure aliments and a much higher chance of surviving an injury or a common disease like malaria. Unfortunately, during the civil war, medical practitioners had to resort to primal methods in saving a civil war soldier’s life. Civil war soldiers lost their limbs and lives to injuries and diseases that would have been avoidable today. During the Civil war, doctors received minimal training and were unfit for one of the bloodiest periods in our nation’s history. Medical education at the time were less intensive than it is today. People during the 1800s who were interested in medicine would be qualified physicians after attending lectures for two years and taking an exam. They did not have the practical training which is require today and experience in was usually taught on the job. Health care during the civil war lead to many needless deaths and has been remember until today. Leo Rosenhouse, a writer for several publications, has written an article which depicts a horrid description of the medical conditions and struggles during the civil war. After a single year, 17,000 union soldiers have been wounded and the demand for surgeons was prominent. After a day of fighting, 700 union solders lay on the battlefield crying for aid only to see a handful of medics with little supplies to assist them. The nation was so scarce in medical supplies that volunteers in Boston made house-to-house searches for bed-sheets, curtains, and shirts to be used as bandages. The nation was also ... ... middle of paper ... ...story @ The Ohio State University. 17 Jun 2010, Flannery, Michael. "Civil War Medicine: Approaches for Teaching." OAH Magazine of History, 19.5 (2005): 41-43. Rosenhouse, Leo. "Civil War Surgeons." Child Life 85.3 (2006): 28-30. ContentSelect Research Navigator. EBSCO. Web. 15 June 2010. Thompson, Holland. “The Sanitary Commission and Other Relief Agencies.” www.ehistory.com. N.p., 04 Jan1862. Web. 16 Jun 2010. < http://www.civilwarhome.com/sanitarycommission.htm>. TRIPLER, Charles. "Tripler's Report on Sanitation in the Army of the Potomac." www.ehistory.com. N.p., 04 Jan1862. Web. 16 Jun 2010. . Van, BUREN. "Rules for Preserving the Health of the Soldier. ." HARPER'S WEEKLY. 24 Aug. 1861: 542. Print.
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