History Crimean War - Medical Services
The medical knowledge of the time were limited which reflected on the medical services that were available in the Crimea to help the sick and wounded soldiers.
How were the medical services organised? * 1853, the Army Medical Department + the Ordnance Medical Department were moved under Dr Andrew Smith. * Had not been done before as the Duke of Wellington had opposed reform of the medical system. * Andrew Smith had to create a war-ready department from scratch. * Dr Smith was told that the British force would have 10,000 men. He had no wagons, no stretcher-bearers + no doctors. * Colonel Tulloch used his staff who were forced on the battlefields as stretcher-bearers for the wounded + dying, removers of the dead and as general servants. * Lord Raglan believed that only 4 doctors per 100 men would be necessary. * The 2 designated hospital ships at Varna in August 1854 were taken over as troop transporters + it wasn’t until early in 1855 that 4 hospital ships were in operation. * In order to make way for troops, the captain off-loaded the medical supplies stacked on board but weren’t found until 4 months later, by which time most were unusable. * The effectiveness of the British approach to the organisation of medical services is summed up by Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Sterling.
Where were hospitals established?
The major base hospital established in Scutari could accommodate around 6,000 men. Across the Black Sea, 4 hospitals were set up.
What treatment was available? * Amputation of shattered limbs with 25% chance of death *
Anaesthesia was used - limited impact + only a sufficient supply. *
Shot was gouged out of bleeding flesh + gaping wounds were stitched *
4/5 of all casualties were a result of illness – only 1/5 were the product of enemy action.
Clean water and sanitation * The biggest problem faced: the provision of clean water+