The Role Of Amputations In The Civil War

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“The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life…” said William James Mayo. During the Civil War there were many advances that helped soldiers live through and after the war. Medical Advances in the Civil War introduced new antiseptic medical practices and medical procedures, modern medical surgeries, and medical knowledge to better serve the public. Over two-thirds of the casualties of the Civil War came from diseases: some were dysentery, measles, typhoid fever, malaria, and tuberculosis. One of the things that many battlefield surgeons and doctors used were chloroform and ether. Chloroform is a sweet-smelling and colorless liquid that was used as a general anesthetic. Though it is not used for anesthesia, it is still used as…show more content…
Amputation is the surgical removal of a limb, such as a foot, leg, or arm. Three-Fourths of operations in the Civil War were amputations. The main cause for battlefield amputation was because of the Minié Ball. The Minié Ball was one of the best bullets at the time and a soldier could shoot it from a far distance and still have an accurate hit. Because of this literally cutting-edge bullet, many soldiers were in need of surgery, and since the surgeons were worried that the patients would catch disease from just letting the wound fester and also the blood loss, they decided to operate on many. A “regular” amputation would look like the limb getting cut off quickly in a circular motion to stop more blood loss, though blood loss was one of the least common ways of dying. One of the most dangerous parts of an amputation was that it wasn’t very sanitary. The surgeons and doctors would use unsanitary and reused bandages which is why Bromine became an important part of operations, cleaning the instruments and such. The whole of the United States and the future of the world learned from the diseases and injuries from the Civil War. From the Civil War society has learned about anti-septic practices, relatively new surgical operations, and better managing of records and injured soldiers. Not only are there more than 185,000 amputations per year in the United States, there are little to no casualties from them, unlike in the Civil War. Also, another thing that benefited the world for medical practices is sanitary instruments and
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