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A fascinating study of war surgery in World War I, where the foundation of modern war surgery were laid.
Wars in the 19th Century were accompanied by a very heavy loss of life from infectious diseases. Typhus fever, dysentery, malaria, typhoid fever and yellow fever caused many more deaths than wounds inflicted by enemy actions. During the Peninsular War, for example, for every soldier dying of a wound, four succumbed to disease. This book examines the development and evolution of surgical practice against this overwhelming risk of death due to disease. It reviews three major conflicts during this time: the Peninsular War, the Crimean War and the Boer War and also considers many minor wars fought by the British Empire in the intervening years, and highlights significant medical and surgical developments during these conflicts. War surgery in the first part of the 19th Century was brutal, and it had to be carried out swiftly. It was performed at speed because there were no anaesthetics and the wounded often died during the procedure. Surgeons focussed their attention on wounds of the arms and legs, because limbs were both easily accessible to the surgeon (unlike organs inside the abdomen and chest) and lent themselves well to amputation. This was commonly the operation of choice for many war wounds of arms and legs. Some surgeons performed more difficult surgical procedures to try to preserve the limbs and attempted to repair damaged tissues, but these operations took longer and caused greater suffering to the patient. Abdominal and chest wounds were not treated since surgeons did not have the means, the ability, or the understanding, to cut into the abdomen and chest to repair the damaged organs successfully. An important development which contributed to surgery moving forwards was the discovery of general anaesthesia, which became available in time for the Crimean War. However, whilst it certainly rendered operations pain-free, it was associated with significant numbers of deaths during surgery on wounded soldiers because of the poorly understood effects that anaesthetics had, particularly on the heart. As a result, operative surgery did not extend its scope a great deal, and military surgery remained focussed on surgery of the limbs. However, fewer amputations were performed during the Boer War at the end of this period. Britain sent observers to several wars in which it was not involved to learn military lessons and to understand the medical and surgical aspects of war. The American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War were two such conflicts. The Russo-Japanese War resulted in a very significant advance in surgery for abdominal wounds, but Western observers either failed to notice or ignored pioneering work performed by a Russian female surgeon called Vera Gedroits. As a result, when the Great War began in 1914, lessons had to be re-learned by British surgeons, and many soldiers who suffered penetrating abdominal wounds lost their lives when they should have survived. Unfortunately, one of the hallmarks of war surgery is that successive generations of surgeons make the same mistakes as their forebears and the same lessons have to be learned time and again.
This work aims to provide the reader with a clear understanding of what happened in Ypres Salient between 1914 and 1918. It sets out to transport the visitor around sites of importance for the First, Second and Third Battle of Ypres, and in so doing to bring the battlefield to life. It will augment existing guidebooks by providing a unique new dimension without listing memorials and cemeteries. It doesn`t matter whether you are in your armchair, on foot, on a bicycle, or in a car, this book will effortlessly transport you to Ypres Salient, where you will be able to visualise what happened. It will take you to Kruiseke Crossroads and Gheluvelt in late October 1914, where tired remnants of the British Expeditionary Force fought desperately to prevent the Germans from breaking through to Ypres. It will lead you to the St Julien-Poelcappelle road on 22 April 1915 where Canadian soldiers near the front line formed a defensive flank after a chlorine gas attack had engulfed adjacent French colonial troops, killing many, while the survivors fled to the rear. You will visit Gravenstafel Ridge, where the Canadians were involved in bitter fighting two days later. You will go to locations throughout the Salient, which will help you to understand the four stages of the Second Battle of Ypres and the eight major phases of the Third Battle of Ypres where British, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian divisions all fought at different times. Eighteen concise chapters will focus on aspects of particular battles, explaining troop movements and strategy. Each chapter is accompanied by many maps based on those in the Official History, which have been painstakingly designed to provide clarity, while colour photographs taken by the authors in the course of many visits to Ypres Salient will help the visitor to understand important points made in the text. After reading this book you should be able to stand at any location within Ypres salient and be able to work out what happened there throughout four years of war. You will also be able to conjure up a picture in your mind of events which took place more than 100 years ago as though they were happening in front of you
Faces from the Front examines the British response to the huge number of soldiers who incurred facial injuries during the First World War. These injuries were produced within a short time span, but (for the first time in a major conflict) did not necessarily lead to death due to developments in anesthesia and improvements in the treatment of infection and blood loss. Casualties were evacuated back to England, where surgeons had an opportunity to develop their skills on a large patient caseload. Harold Gillies, an ambitious young surgeon, developed a new branch of surgery: plastic surgery of the face. In 1915, Gillies set up a dedicated ward for patients with facial injuries at the Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot, Hampshire. Following the Battle of the Somme and the escalation in the number of casualties with facial injuries, steps were taken to establish a new hospital entirely focused on the treatment of facial injuries at Sidcup in South-East London. The Queen's Hospital treated more than 5,000 patients between its opening in August 1917 and the mid-1920s; its work was mainly funded by charitable donations. The book uncovers the history of this hospital by analyzing a wide range of sources - including numerous photographs and paintings - which detail the experiences of patients and staff. A team of surgeons and other specialized staff were brought together at Sidcup who, like the hospital's patients, came from Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US. The book argues that the development and refinement of new surgical techniques was helped by a multidisciplinary approach. Detailed patient records - combined with notes, photographs and paintings - were used to evaluate the efficacy of experimental procedures and to educate new surgeons. Treatment often involved multiple operations and took place over long periods of time, and considerable thought was given to the recovery and rehabilitation of patients. The Queen's Hospital had two important legacies: first, it played a pivotal role in the development of modern medical practice by paving the way for a new surgical specialty - plastic surgery - and by showcasing the benefits of specialist hospitals and multi-disciplinary services; second, the reconstruction of damaged faces had a major impact on the patients themselves. Drawing on a unique collection of personal and family accounts of the post-war lives of patients treated at Sidcup, the author explores surgical and aesthetic outcomes and the emotional impact of facial reconstruction.
This revised fourth edition provides a concise guide to the clinical and operational issues surrounding the management of the ballistic casualty. This book utilises the knowledge and experience acquired by those dealing with ballistic trauma on a regular basis to help those who manage these patients less regularly. This book is a valuable reference tool for all medical and paramedical personnel involved in the care of patients with ballistic injury. It is especially relevant for consultants and senior trainees in surgery, anesthesia, and emergency medicine who are likely to be involved in the management of these unique injuries.
Caring for the wounded of the First World War was tough and challenging work, demanding extensive knowledge, technical skill, and high levels of commitment. Although allied nurses were admired in their own time for their altruism and courage, their image was distorted by the lens of popular mythology. They came to be seen as self-sacrificing heroines, romantic foils to the male combatant and doctors' handmaidens, rather than being appreciated as trained professionals performing significant work in their own right. Christine Hallett challenges these myths to reveal the true story of allied nursing in the First World War - one which is both more complex and more absorbing. Drawing upon evidence from archives across the world, Veiled Warriors offers a compelling account of nurses' wartime experiences and a clear appraisal of their work and its contribution to the allied cause between 1914 and 1918, on both the Western and the Eastern Fronts. Nurses believed they were involved in a multi-layered battle. Primarily, they were fighting for the lives of their patients on the 'second battlefield' of casualty clearing stations, transports, and military hospitals. Beyond this, they were an integral component of the allied military machine, putting their own lives at risk in field hospitals close to the front lines, on board hospital ships vulnerable to enemy submarine attack, and in base hospitals subject to heavy bombardment. As working women in a sometimes hostile, chauvinistic world, allied nurses were also fighting to gain recognition for their profession and political rights for their sex. For them, military nursing might help to win not only the war itself, but also a more powerful voice for women in the post-war world.
This is a guidebook with a difference. It is not a list of memorials and cemeteries. Its aim is to provide the reader with an understanding of the Battle of the Somme. There were some partial successes; there were many disastrous failures. In 17 concise chapters dealing with different areas of the battlefield and various aspects of strategy, this book explains what happened in each location and why. Each chapter is accompanied by color photographs, taken by the authors in the course of many visits to the Somme, which will illustrate, illuminate and allow the reader to understand important points made in the text. It doesn`t matter whether you are in your armchair, on foot, on a bicycle, or in a car, this book will effortlessly transport you to the battlefield and will sweep you round the front line of 1 July 1916. From Montauban in the south, to Serre in the north, it will lead you to the night attack of 14 July and to the first use of tanks on 15 September. It will take you to the Pozières Ridge and to Mouquet Farm, and to the heights above the Ancre. You will visit the famous Sunken Lane near Beaumont Hamel, where the text will transport you in time to stand with men from the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers waiting to go over the top on 1 July 1916. You will look towards Hawthorn Mine Crater and almost feel the earth tremble beneath your feet as though you were there at 07.20 hrs. on 1 July 1916. You will go into Beaumont Hamel with the 51st (Highland) Division and climb up Wagon Road. You will look across to where Frankfurt Trench once was, and where men from the 16th Highland Light Infantry from Glasgow fought a last ditch battle, having become marooned in the trench, in what was the last action to take place before the Somme finally petered out in the mud in late November 1916. With its focus on informing and illuminating the events of 1916 on the Somme, and illustrated throughout by carefully annotated color photographs showing the sites today, this book will prove equally essential to the battlefield visitor or the 'virtual visitor' in their armchair.

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