Medical Technology During World War I Essay

898 Words 4 Pages
Surgeries at the time of WWI were a direct result of the Industrial Revolution’s new technology; these surgical advances struggled to fix the horrible injuries sustained by soldiers from the new sophisticated weaponry. "Every war stimulates medical research. It’s sad, but true," said Frank Freemon. Although many soldiers died during attempts at things like reconstructive surgery and Caesarian sections, experimenting in the surgical fields improved conditions and advanced the science, as well as develop new professions in surgery. During this time, surgery was becoming more successful by leaps and bounds, attempting to overcome problems that killed soldiers like hemorrhaging, infection, and gangrene, with new inventions in the field, like …show more content…
These measures helped give surgeons time to try to come up with a solution for wounded soldier. A common example doctors had to deal with during the war was shrapnel wounds, or foreign bodies which had been imbedded into soldiers flesh. The surgery created to deal with this was also important, debridement, supposedly begun by a French medical officer called Dr. Riche, in 1914. This cleaner method not only removed the foreign bodies, but the surgeon would also cut out the skin surrounding the ‘contused and infected wound’ replacing it with a ‘clean healthy incised wound’. This was possible only because of the new cleanliness in hospitals, without antiseptics, bacteria wound have set into the open wounds much more often.
Other problems with surgery were; amputations, death due to shock, and blood loss. The last two were interrelated, discovered Henderson in 1908, and along with the discovery of blood typing, saving soldiers from shock by blood transfusion was possible. Yet, during the war, blood had to be drawn on the spot since there was no blood stored. Amputations however, became less frequent during the war due to the new surgeon procedures. Infection in the leg, many times the horrible gangrene, which was very infectious, could set in before or even after the amputation. Yet, with more cleanliness and antiseptics, it had

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