Medicine, World War I - Research Article from Americans at War

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Medicine, World War I

The Great War was a staging ground of carnage, diseases, and psychological disorders on scale that dwarfs suffering in peace time. Millions of people who otherwise would have escaped such ravages were killed, maimed, and scarred for life. While the extent and devastation of the war affected battlefield care and post-combat treatment, loss of relatives, crippling injuries, impaired health, and psychological disorders also had a profound effect on social attitudes and culture after the war ended.

The First World War was the first in which battlefield fatalities outnumbered deaths by battlefield disease. Heavily armored tanks, machine guns and gas warfare replaced the antiquated cavalry and cannons of past conflicts. Great advances in prostheses were made. Gunshot wounds were now irrigated with antiseptic fluid (Carrel-Dakin treatment), which helped prevent gangrene. Most importantly, hygiene became an ever-present issue.

Throughout the war, soldiers fought, ate...

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This section contains 1,100 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medicine, World War I Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Medicine, World War I from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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