Ahundred years ago. Treatment of wounded soldiers. Practitioner July/August 2014; 258 (1773): 34-35

Treatment of wounded soldiers

25 Jul 2014Registered users

A HUNDRED YEARS AGO: The results of abdominal wounds are very bad. One school of thought recommends immediate operation; the other advises no operation at all. Consider what it means to operate on the abdomen. There must be an absolutely first-class hospital and a first-class nursing staff at our disposal for at least 1½ hours, whilst for each case three highly-skilled medical men are needed: an expert abdominal surgeon – a man who can really tackle big abdominal work, a first-class anaesthetist, and the surgeon’s assistant. In the end, perhaps one out of three, perhaps one out of five, may recover. It is a terrible thing to have to place a man’s life in the balance, when we think we could save it by a great effort. But when there are 50 or 60 other wounded men lying around, and the labour being expended on one may mean lack of attention to the others, it becomes a very difficult question.

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