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Organisation of the medical services
In 1853, the medical services were reorganised-
the Army Medical department and Ordnance
Medical department were combined into one
under Dr Andrew Smith
Had not been done before as the Duke of
Wellington had been strictly against any reform
of the medical system
Smith had to create a war-ready department from
scratch. He was told there would be 10,000 men
in the Crimea.
At first he had no wagons to transport the
wounded, stretcher bearers or doctors
Army pensioners were used a stretcher bearers
and servants!
Lord Raglan ordered only around 4 medical…read more

Slide 3

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Where were the hospitals?
Main base hospital at Scutari- old Ottoman
barracks converted by the British
Could hold about 6,000 men
Four other hospitals in the Crimea, some
only set up in 1855…read more

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What treatment was available?
The level of treatment was a reflection of
the state of medicinal knowledge at the
time- cruder versions of treatment
available in Britain
The main treatment was amputation for
injured limbs- this carried a 25% death risk
Anaesthetic was used but had little impact-
doctors also thought it weakened the
patient during the operation
Hospitals rarely had enough supplies
Infection was a huge risk…read more

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Clean water & sanitation
Sanitation was a huge problem for the
thousands of men camped in the open, with
no change of clothing, bad conditions and
poor supplies
Led to diseases like typhus, typhoid, cholera,
dysentery. Lice were also a problem.
The state in hospitals was not much better
In the winter 1854/55, 1/3 of the British army
died from disease- most of whom were in
hospitals
Majority of men died not in battle but from
disease
BUT
Lack of water and sanitation were killers at
home too
The link between water and cholera was only…read more

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