Sunday, February 8, 2015

Amputation Procedures Used In Civil War Medicine

by Kevin Thompson

Before the Civil War, amputations were used for many many years and provided data for the surgeons that used amputations in the War. Amputations were not only used in military practice but also in civil practice to treat injuries sustained in accidents as well as other issues such as tumors of the bone. The data used was supplied to the United States surgeons by texts written by doctors such as Tavernier, Sir Astley Cooper, G.J. Guthrie, Paul Eve, Fergusson, and many others. Much of the data used came from the War of the Crimea which took place from 1853-56 and was considered to be the 1st modern war.

There were 2 main methods used to amputate large limbs during the War: Flap and Circular Amputations. In the field the flap method was more widely used where time was a factor. With this method the bone was dissected and flaps of deep muscle and skin were used to close the operation. When implementing the flap method it was imperative to cut the bone away a few inches above the place where the flaps were brought together.

The flap method presented a problem when the patient was to be transported long distances soon or directly after the surgery. The muscles that are used in the flaps to cover became gangrenous when moving the patient about. G.J. Guthrie recommended the circular method because the coverings were made primarily of skin and surface muscle. In military surgery, the flap procedure brought about more sloughing and secondary hemorrhages than that of circular amputation. This was especially noticed after severe battles.

From: civilwarmedicalbooks.com


Post a Comment


Facebook Twitter Delicious Stumbleupon Favorites