World War 1 and the development of surgery

  • Created by: k_14R
  • Created on: 01-11-15 23:12
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  • How WWI affected surgery?
    • Blood Transfusions
      • The problem with blood transfusions was that many soldiers bled to death as blood wasn't stored, but when it was stored the blood clotted and couldn't be used
        • This was solved as war sped up the breakthrough of sodium citrate stopped clotting and the separation and storage of blood cells reduced the number of soldier deaths
    • X-Rays
      • In 1895,  Wilhelm Rötengen discovered that certain rays of light could pass through objects
        • WWI had a big impact, surgeons needed to see bullets inside soldiers and required x-rays, the Gov. installed x-rays in the majors hospitals on the Western Front
    • Infection
      • Lister's work on antiseptics got many other surgeons to stop infection especially as war caused deep infections.
        • They found out , through practice, how to cut away infected tissue and protect it with a saline solution
    • Plastic Surgery
      • Plastic surgery had been practiced in India for centuries but was risky due to infections
      • 11,000 plastic surgeries were carried out
        • Which gave surgeons lots of practice
      • Harold Gillies was a plastic surgeon pioneer
        • After observing a facial plastic surgery he convinced the army's chief surgeon to open a facial injury ward
          • In 1917 a new hospital was built (The Queens Hospital) specialising in facial injuries. Gillies and his collegues developed many techniques
    • Brain Surgery
      • Brain surgery was rare until saline solutions and blood transfusions which kept patients alive


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