Civil War Medicine

Civil War Medicine

by C. Keith Wilbur

Paperback(First Edition)

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The Civil War created both crises and opportunities never before imagined by the medical professional. Doctors of the time were not prepared to deal with the staggering number and nature of wounds inflicted. And often, absolute necessity mothered many inventions, from new surgical instruments to the logistics of providing ambulance service on the battlefield. The brutal reality of the war pushed doctors to a new level of medical and surgical knowledge. In Civil War medicine 1861-1865, Dr. C. Keith Wilbur takes you on a detailed and fascinating tour through the medical history of this bloody and devastating war. Hundreds of illustrations, combined with well-researched and engaging text, tell the tale of the challenges presented to physicians with each new battle and the often-heroic ways those challenges were met. Discover and learn: how outmoded theories hobbled doctors in the field; the stories of the women who first entered a 'man's army' as nurses; the details about the field hospitals, from the different kinds of bandages used to the diseases and wounds the doctors treated; and details of the day's surgical practices, medications, and anesthesia (or lack thereof).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762703418
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/1998
Series: Illustrated Living History Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 537,409
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 11 - 17 Years

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Civil War Medicine 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ladycato on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought this book at the Pea Ridge Civil War Battlefield near Bentonville, Arkansas, with the intent of using it as story material. Lo and behold, only a few months after purchasing it, I read it with that very goal in mind. In particular, I needed to know about Victorian battlefield practices, what a physician would carry, and other difficulties of the period. This book gave me everything I needed (and what Google could not).The American Civil War was a time of transition in medical theory. It was a time when inflammation was regarded as a good thing, when illnesses were caused by bad spirits or air (mal-airia), and when abundant sweat was considered healthy (so Northern wives sent flannel hats for their men to wear during Southern summers). Cleanliness was also not considered a high priority. Florence Nightingale's nursing techniques in the Crimea were only a decade before, and the medical establishment did not readily change. The North did have an advantage in many ways: they founded a sanitation commission to increase camp morale and cleanliness, and they also had ready access to medicines like quinine. They were also more likely to develop new techniques in ambulances and hospital organizations. Confederate doctors soon realized that maggots may not be such a bad thing after all, as they only ate dead tissue.The book includes artwork of the tools of the time. No medical volume on the Civil War could omit the use of bone saws. There are pictures of the various types of saws and the particular techniques used in cutting; it wasn't just a straight up and down cut, but was done with care so that extra muscle and tissue could cover the stump of bone. It also discusses injuries throughout the body, including fascinating excerpts on Abraham Lincoln's autopsy.I was particularly interested in finding out more about germ theory of the time. Microscopes did exist and germs had been sighted (called zymes) but were thought to be a normal part of the healing process. It wasn't until after the war that Louis Pasteur made his great advances in Europe and Lister developed new sanitizing techniques, thus causing a dramatic drop in death rates.One other curious thing about this book: I questioned buying it because the full 100-page book is done in an old-timey font. As I began to read, I quickly realized--it wasn't a font, it was hand-written! I soon became accustomed to the print and had no issues reading it.CIVIL WAR MEDICINE obviously isn't a book for everyone, but I found it to be a great read and one I will keep on my shelf.
MikeMcGNY More than 1 year ago
I had only one other book on Civl War medicine and this one only added more to my civil war library. It was nicely done.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I have no clue how they managed to put so much in so few pages. It takes only a day to read but gives rather better information upon more subjects then the rest of my colection. It is not overly deap but it is the clearest book on the subject