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The Impact of War on Medicine

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The Impact of War on Medicine Five examples: 1. The work of Ambroise Pare was helped by war. Ambroise Pare was a French barber surgeon. He served in the French Army in the 1530s. Whilst treating injured soldiers Pare got the chance to use his new treatment for gunshot wounds. Pare ran out of the traditional treatment of boiling oil, and used his mixture of Rose Oil, Egg Yoke and Turpentine instead. This proved successful. Without the opportunity that war gave him to experiment with his method in a public place, Pare's idea would not have been developed. Although boiling oil was not dropped as a treatment overnight, war had offered Pare the opportunity to experiment and prove to others that his method was effective. ...read more.


Examples of this include the First and Second World Wars in Europe. The problem can be summed up by the debate in the United States during the Vietnam War in which economists argued that it was not possible to have both 'guns and butter' at the same time. By this they meant that a nation could not spend money both on a war and on things that would make the lives of its citizens better. 4. Medical care for soldiers is often worse than before a war. During World War I the medical care given to injured soldiers was often less effective than that practised in hospitals before the War started. By 1914, many surgeons were using careful surgical techniques that involved removing only the infected part of a limb and then treating it with antiseptics to stop infection. ...read more.


The injuries caused by the arrowheads presented army surgeons with even greater difficulties in dealing with the wounds. Their skills were developed and these were transferred back into civilian life. 6. The collapse of the Roman Empire was a disaster for medicine. The Roman Empire collapsed under the twin problems of internal weaknesses and attacks from outside. In 410AD the Barbarians from northern Germany captured Rome and destroyed the city. Much of the collected work of Hippocrates and Galen was lost in the unrest and destruction that followed across Europe. With the collapse of the Roman Empire, the great public health systems in towns across Europe fell into disrepair. The life expectancy of the average person fell for the next 1000 years. With the loss of the Roman Government of Western Europe following its defeat in war, medicine ceased progress for centuries. By Tom Everett 10x ...read more.

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