Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs
by Alfred Jay Bollet, M.D. /
Amputations on screaming, unanesthetized men is the image of Civil War medicine for most people. Dr. Bollet's extensive research has proved that this is a myth. Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs presents the remarkable story of healthcare workers' dedication and heroism in the face of a terrible war.
Using a blend of first-person accounts, historical data, and modern medical knowledge, Dr. Alfred Jay Bollet revisits the battlefields, hospitals, and horrific conditions in which Civil War surgeons had to labor. He details the first dismal year, when a war expected to last a few short months instead left tens of thousands of soldiers dead and wounded. The widely reported tragedies of that year formed the images of Civil War medicine that have endured-even to this day.
Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs shows, however, that after that first year, the medical teams on both sides of the Civil War delivered care and produced survival rates for diseases and injuries far better than either the civilian physicians of the time or European practitioners in subsequent wars. Rising to the unprecedented challenges of an unexpectedly long and brutal war, they developed innovations that later became standard components of battlefield and disaster medicine. In the face of devastating shortages of medical supplies and equipment, Civil War surgeons organized a trained ambulance corps, a field hospital system to care for the wounded, and huge, well-run military hospitals. The first organized nursing corps admirably served both sides-at great personal risk.
Dr. Bollet challenges the outdated images of barbaric and ignorant practitioners-replacing them with a balanced narrative of the heroic efforts of the largely unsung Civil War physicians and nurses. The Civil War provided a true test of American medicine's ability to adapt, innovate, and provide quality care in extraordinary times; Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs shows they did just that.
Other books by Alfred Jay Bollett, M.D.