Civil War Medical Changes Essay

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How the Civil War Promoted Changes in the Medical Field
The Civil War was one of the deadliest war there has ever been. The North and South fought tirelessly against each other, without much room for error people started to be quick on their feet, people starting fundraisers and volunteering to help injured soldiers. There was room for improvement in the medical field during this time. The several medical challenges faced during the Civil War led to innovations that would lead into a new era of medicine, including improvement in sanitary conditions, advances in surgery, changes to the structure of hospitals and staff, and an increase in knowledge and experience for future medical professionals.
There were steps leading to the Civil War, the
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It was thought that surgeons during this time were ruthless and heartless, but that wasn’t the case. According to Dr. Jonathan Letterman, the medical director of the Army of Potomac “ The surgery of these battle-fields has been pronounced butchery. Gross misrepresentations of the conduct of medical officers have been made...some medical officers lost their lives in their devotion to duty in the battle of Antietam, and others sickened from excessive labor which they conscientiously and skillfully performed. If any objection could be urged against the surgery of those fields, it would be the efforts on the part of surgeons to practice "conservative surgery" to too great an extent”. Surgeons in the battlefield were some of the strongest people out there, according to ehistory's essay on Civil War Battlefield Surgery “The field hospital was hell on earth. The surgeon would stand over the operating table for hours without a let up. Men screamed in delirium, calling for loved ones, while others laid pale and quiet with the effect of shock”. It was truly terrifying to see people in true agonizing pain. Modern form of anesthesia wasn’t available, although the doctors would administer chloroform, National Museum of Civil War Medicine says “Chloroform was administered by placing the anesthetic on a sponge at the top…show more content…
Although, There were significant differences between the North and South’s progress. The North had extensive resources and people, that helped a whole lot. The South thought had significantly less resources, especially when some things where indigenous to the South. According to Civil war “Confederates had to rely very heavily on indigenous supplies of indigenous plants, bandages from the home front and other things that quite frankly they simply weren’t able to either manufacture, to transport, or to import...Doctors couldn’t get enough silk, for instance, for suture material. This would sound terrible, except they found horse-hair was a great substitute... But shortages of bandages, shortages of quinine, and other things like morphine could be a real problem”(Surkamp). It was difficult for the South to keep up, with all the injuries, deaths, and not many hospitals at their disposal. The economic differences between the North and south were exceptionally greater. Compared to the South, the North had more that fifty percent more of sources like population, railroad mileage, iron/steel production, wealth, value of exports and factories. Yet, the South had thirty-two percent or less of all of theses resources, there was a much lower chance of the South winning. Without much of theses resources it was much harder to help injured soldiers in the
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