Medicine During The Civil War Essay

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During the Civil War, the grotesque and gruesome injuries plagued the battlefield. Medicine was in its infancy and very few advances had been made. Even basic procedures and some techniques that common people are taught today, were not developed. The problem of only having basic medicine became a problem in saving the lives of the wounded soldiers. Surgeons were given very little schooling and were not prepared for injuries that this war would bring. The new types of ammunition would not only crush the bone that it hit, but destroy three inches of bone around the impact zone. With the few surgeries and techniques, between building splints, extracting bullets and amputation, amputation was the most commonly used treatment.

Surgeons would make splints out of wood and …show more content…

Generals were way behind on the tactics that these new weapons allowed (Civil War Battlefield Surgery). They still had their armies take the positions across from each other, like in the American Revolutionary War (Civil War Battlefield Surgery). The new bullets were large and heavy (Civil War Battlefield Surgery). The bullets would cause large, gaping holes, splintered bones, and destroyed muscles, arteries, and tissues beyond repair (Civil War Battlefield Surgery). When the bullet would break through the flesh and hit the bone, it would expand (Civil War Battlefield Surgery). If it hit the intestines it would tear them apart, unlike the old musket ball (Civil War Battlefield Surgery). Bones would be crushed and smashed so badly, that surgeons were left with no other choice but to amputate (Civil War Battlefield Surgery). In the case of John Hood, “The two minie bullets struck John Bell Hood's leg at Chickamauga and destroyed 5 inches of his upper thigh bone. This left surgeons no choice but to amputate shattered limbs. Hood's leg was removed only 4 and 1/2 inches away from his body” (Civil War Battlefield

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