Surgery & Medical Innovations

Amputations and Other Medical Advancements

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Surgeries were often performed outside or where ever a location was available.

Medical Advancedments During the War

  1. Battlefield surgeons only took on average 6 minutes to complete an amputation, and skilled Union soldiers only lost approximately 25% of their patients.

  2. A confederate doctor invented a new way to administer chloroform (anesthesia) to patients by having it inhaled through a series of tubes; it used only 1/8 of an ounce compared to the old 2 ounce dosage. This allowed the south to treat as many wounded soldiers as the north, but only used a fraction of the supplies.

  3. Now considered the father of modern surgery, Gurdan Buck completed 32 revolutionary surgical reconstructions on disfigured Union soldiers.

  4. During the civil war a system was created to transport wounded soldiers by "ambulance" wagons to a place where they could receive medical care. This method is very similar to the ambulance-to-ER system that we still use today.

  5. A new way to treat chest wounds as invented by using metal sutures to close the wound to create an airtight seal, this innovation became a standard treatment and survival rates quadrupled .

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Amputations were among the most common procedures done during the civil war

By: Brooke Blair