Download PDF by Mary C Gillett: The Army Medical Department, 1775-1818

By Mary C Gillett

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Where poultices were not appropriate, he maintained that dry lint was likewise inappropriate. He suggested in these cases that oil and wax or some other "unctuous matter" be used, or that it might even at times be better not to use ointments. Jones praised this British conservatism and added that, if an ointment had to be used, it should at least be very mild. The use of wine and alcohol as a remedy against putrefaction, however, was recommended by van Swieten, while turpentine, used in the eighteenth century to combat minor bleeding, now appears to have real value against bacteria.

On 17 Jul y 1776, however, Congress itself finally passed legislation which , wh ile to some degree officially clari- fy ing the relation ship of the two med ical syste ms as far as supplies were concerned , fai led to eliminate ill feeling. ) T he resolve stated that regimental surgeons were not to be permitted to draw anything but medicine and instruments from the Hospita l Department and tha t patients whose treatment required anything more were to be sent into the ge neral hospital. The directors of individual hospitals were ent itled to inspect the regimental chests and the pay of each soldier did not pass, but the regular ra tions of the sick as long as they were in the hospital.

Jones praised this British conservatism and added that, if an ointment had to be used, it should at least be very mild. The use of wine and alcohol as a remedy against putrefaction, however, was recommended by van Swieten, while turpentine, used in the eighteenth century to combat minor bleeding, now appears to have real value against bacteria. ~3 lacerated vessels and extravasated fluid s from the sou nd parts which then grow up a-fresh. " Redness and heat around a wound were seen as inevitable, as was fever in serious wounds.

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The Army Medical Department, 1775-1818 by Mary C Gillett


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