How War Advanced Medical Technology (Medical History Documentary) | Timeline

on the morning of July 1st 1916 after five days of intense artillery bombardment the British 4th army advanced into what was to be known as the Battle of the Somme within the first hour of attack the troops suffered some 30,000 casualties that number would double by the end of the day the medical services were overwhelmed by the heavy casualties and the horrific nature of their wounds a new era of warfare and human suffering at dawn the battle of the somme was a massacre never before or since have so many soldiers been wounded and killed in a single day of fighting in dealing with the casualties the medics and surgeons of the British Army faced a terrifying challenge every few minutes the shrapnel would shriek through the air they yell outside would be followed by a figure bursting in using the most lurid language I heard a bang followed by shrieks of agony I looked down into a narrow trench there saw what appeared to be a little red heat which shrieked and groaned in the most ghastly manner this was the reality of trench warfare the horrors that the medics had to deal with the wounds inflicted on the soldiers of World War one were more devastating than any seen in previous Wars made worse by the conditions in which the battles were fought and the introduction of new weapons it was the first war in which the machine gun was used it fired 550 rounds per minute as British soldiers went over the top cascades of bullets cut men in half to climb out of your burrow where you've been living like an earthworm into clear daylight it's a good deal like trying your luck in the casino at Monte Carlo the odds are against you and if you keep at it long enough you're mathematically certain to lose out the end but it wasn't just the bullets that caused injury German artillery guns bombarded soldiers with two thousand-pound shells some guns could fire up to 30 miles if hit by a shell soldiers were blown to pieces if not directly hit they were peppered with fragments the shells and guns combined to make the salm hell on earth I was nearer being sick than I've ever been in my life on his head and a portion of the thorax was left the poor chap lived about 15 minutes and I was glad to get away when it was all over the terrible wounds took the medics into new territory they would be forced to learn new techniques that would revolutionize surgery world war one would become a landmark in the history of Medicine the battle of the somme was fought on the wet fertile soils of Normandy France July 1916 the British Army alone had a force of over 500 thousand men a system of evacuation was in place to deal with the anticipated wounded with little regard for their own safety stretcher bearers carried the wounded back to first aid posts their medical officers plugged wounds and stopped bleeding from the first aid point casualties were sent further back to casualty clearing stations located some 5 to 15 miles from the front line by the second day of the Battle of the Somme these makeshift hospitals held 12,000 wounded soldiers nearly three times their maximum capacity it was an overwhelming situation we had a lure at night outside a perfect tornado of shell fire was going on all night the wounded poured in and by the morning we had added several fresh bodies to the row outside to see that dressing room with two stretches on the trestles two more waiting to be lifted up and the hall outside packed with wounded of all degrees made one realize what war meant the surgeons of the British Royal Army Medical Corps were amazed and horrified the wounds suffered by the soldiers the wounds were made worse by the filthy dirty conditions in which the patients were injured the most striking thing was the mud not the ordinary mal stains such as one gets after country walk but the thick greasy sticky filth which coated the legs up to her face often – if the bleeding had been severe blood has soaked and caked into the surrounding cloth and mud so as to actually glue the patient to the stretcher the mud was teeming with bacteria gunshot and shrapnel propelled dirt and pieces of filthy uniform deep into the body wounds became terribly infected to the point where death was inevitable we bombardments have been so terrible lately that those who are wounded in the morning cannot be taken out of the trenches until night and then they are in a sad condition they are brought in here just caked with mud from head to foot we have had a number of deaths from that awful gas gangrene there's not much hope when that attacks them gas gangrene is caused by bacteria which eat dead flesh as the infection takes hold the decomposing tissues produce a foul-smelling gas at the time antibiotics did not exist drugs that kill bacteria were yet to be discovered though antiseptic solutions were available that would disinfect a mild infection these solutions were useless in the filthy conditions of the trenches the only way a World War 1 surgeon could control infection was by removing all dead and infected tissue this is also done in modern war surgery the bacteria that cause gas gangrene need an environment free of oxygen in which to grow and deep within a wound that is precisely the condition that exists this patient at the Red Cross Hospital in Lockett ochio Kenya is a victim of a civil war that's been raging across the border in Sudan for over two decades he has a double gunshot wound to the hand the bullets have destroyed bone and tissue producing plenty of dead flesh upon which bacteria thrive his wound is infected bad things you have to empty some pus the only way to stop infection is to prevent the conditions in which it thrives first the surgeon cleans the wound cutting away the dead tissue and bone on which bacteria feed once the wound is clean it is left open covered only with protective dressing this allows air to circulate thereby preventing bacterial growth after four or five days this dressing will be removed the wound examined and if free of infection only then will it be stitched after the danger of gangrene has passed the importance of this procedure was known to the surgeons of the First World War but it wasn't just infection that killed soldiers there was another less obvious killer the medics of World War one were shocked and puzzled by the large number of patients that died from what seemed to be minor injuries these men had a deathly gray complexion and arrived at hospital in a state of collapse such patients were poor candidates for surgery if operated upon in this state they would not survive many were written off as hopeless cases but one British surgeon Ernest Cowell tried to unravel the mystery by observing casualties fresh from the front line he spent a month accompanying the wounded from point of injury to arrival at hospital he took blood pressures made detailed notes and concluded that the mysterious illness was induced by the very conditions of war a combination of cold dehydration and exhaustion which weakened the body's ability to deal with even the mildest injury it is a condition known to us today as wound shock this patient being admitted to Johannesburg University Hospital South Africa was found impaled on a metal fence part of the fence is still embedded in him two of them went into his port – we found him hanging there by some time we had to cut the whole cage the metal spike miraculously missed all vital organs but his body has gone into a state of shock which might prove fatal he is dehydrated and his body temperature has dropped his blood pressure is dangerously low his pulse almost imperceptible the only way to treat wounds shock is to reverse the conditions which have caused it here the patient is given a thermal blanket to raise his body temperature he is given morphine to kill his pain drugs to increase blood pressure and saline to replace lost fluids this treatment for shock was pioneered by earnest Cowell during World War one he set up resuscitation wards at casualty clearing stations where specially trained shock teams gave almost identical treatment the wounded men received blankets tea morphine and intravenous saline to cure dehydration though simple the treatment saved many lives cowls unraveling of the causes of shock was a major breakthrough in the treatment of trauma but shocked and fluid loss was preventable particularly in casualties with bad leg fractures during long evacuation journeys patients with fractures could lose a great deal of blood the constant juddering in makeshift ambulances shifted broken bone fragments which in turn pierced blood vessels resulting in further bleeding at the beginning of World War one eighty percent of soldiers with serious fractures of the thigh died this mortality rate was reduced by another simple solution a splint named after its Welsh inventor Hugh Owen Thomas was designed to immobilize fractured limbs during transportation stretcher bearers were even taught to fix the splint blindfolded so they could set limbs in the dark the results were spectacular by the end of the war the splint reduced the mortality rate of leg fractures from 80 to 20% the Great War was a groundbreaking period in which many new medical treatments were used it would also be a period in which innovative life-saving techniques would be discovered during the second year of World War one a patient was admitted to a rare Hospital nearly two weeks after being wounded with multiple shrapnel wounds to the chest and arm he was typical of so many of the injured his red blood cell count was low his condition deteriorating he was gravely ill a Canadian doctor named captain Lawrence Bruce Robertson decided to experiment with a new technique blood transfusion Robertsons blood transfusion was a cumbersome and time-consuming process involving the direct injection of blood from the donor to the patient with a sterile syringe the patient survived the success of Robertson's treatment offered a glimmer of hope where previously there been none most war wounds and also civilian wounds produce blood loss and the best fluid to replace blood is blood because if you continue to bleed your body will compensate for some time but not compensate forever and eventually your blood pressure will drop and if you continue to bleed without any treatment you may die in the intensity of the Battle of the Somme many seemingly hopeless cases ended up in the moribund wards where people beyond hope went to die in fact most of these patients were simply suffering from shock caused by loss of blood using the new technique of blood transfusion one surgeon named Geoffrey Keynes took it upon himself to prove this at the end of a long and arduous days surgery Keynes would secretly go into the moribund ward and choose patients who were still breathing and had a perceptible pulse he then transfused them buying time to perform the necessary operation many of his patients survived obviously to operate on patients you want to operate on them in the best possible condition which is as near normal as possible – so if the circulation is returned to as near normal as possible then you're more likely to make a better recovery the availability of blood during World War one was a turning point in surgery though initially a tedious procedure and difficult to carry out under wartime conditions the technique was quickly improved upon soldiers were even encouraged by an extra fortnight sleeve to give blood now even the worst cases could be operated upon during World War one the standard weapon used by a German sniper was the 7.92 millimeter Mauser Gewehr 98 hitted with an optical sight it was a very accurate weapon working day and night trained marksman targeted any moving object behind enemy lines in trench warfare the head was particularly vulnerable as soldiers peered over the parapet of the trenches they found themselves in the expert sights of the sniper while steel helmet saved many lives head wounds were still common of all the dreadful wounds in war the lacerating brain wound is the most harrowing restless noisy delirious the unhappy victim struggled with the men who would restrain them babbling of private matters of domestic things crying for water and yet spitting it out when brought during the early years of World War one a serious head wound was rarely operated upon but armed with the new treatments for shock and blood loss it was now possible to tackle even these injuries in 1917 an American surgeon named Harvey Cushing who had specialist knowledge of neurosurgery was posted to France an obsessive letter writer he recorded his operations in meticulous detail repeat a record a day with eight cases all serious ones he's a Tavor egde two hours of peace some using to think at home I used to regard a single major cranial operation as a day's work for safekeeping Cushing posted his Diaries home to his wife an offense which constituted a breach of security for which he was nearly court-martialed however the diary survived and give a remarkable insight into what a First World War brain surgeon could do Wednesday 15th of August 1917 it was eleven o'clock before he got to Sargent shave the sergeant of machine gunners had almost a whole of his right frontal lobe blown out with a large piece of shell almost an inch square an extensive radiating fractures which been taken off most of his frontal bone including the frontal sinuses an enormous operation done under local anesthesia faced with such trauma Cushing was forced to experiment with several new techniques one was the use of a glass sucker to remove pulped brain another was the use of an electromagnet to remove metallic foreign bodies World War one gave Harvey Cushing the volume of casualties to refine his craft and this is the irony of war through the suffering of thousands medical frontiers are broken this was particularly true of plastic surgery these drawings were made by medical artists during World War one they are faces torn apart by shrapnel men maimed beyond recognition during the early war years such wounded were simply patched up and sent home with a lasting memory of war few surgeons knew how to deal with the injuries the wounded simply had to live with their deformities sometimes disguising them beneath masks with painted features but as thousands of disfigured heroes returned home a specialist Plastic Surgery unit was set up at the Queens hospital Sidcup England to deal with the injuries it was one of the first of its kind in the world and headed by an innovative young British surgeon named Harold gillies following the Battle of the Somme the department received 2,000 men in ten days working around the clock gillies and his team operated on the worst victims of war there were wounds far worse than anything we had met before men without half their faces men burned and maimed to the condition of animals day after day the tragic grotesque procession made its way towards us my days and nights were filled with a steady flow of injuries this was one of Gilley's patients a corporal Smith brought in with his jaw and lower lip sheared off by a bullet the wound was devastating but gillies totally restructured the face by experimenting with skin grafts his technique was revolutionary his results so impressive that the army opened a new military hospital entirely dedicated to plastic surgery in Aldershot England here Harold gillies treated 5,000 service men over a period of four years the sheer number of casualties provided him with guinea pigs to refine his new techniques one of them was a Royal Navy Seaman named vicarage on August 2nd 1917 he was brought before gillies 18 months previously all the skin had been burnt from his face by cordite his eyelids and lower lip were turned inside-out gillies first task was to restore the face with new skin he experimented by grafting tubes of healthy tissue from the patient's shoulders to his face after this had been done a number of times the face eventually was reconstructed with fresh skin though far from normal the result was good and his technique worked but gillies had a second task seaman vicarage as injuries had also left him unable to close his eyes this is the same type of defect that you would see from a burnin type of injury what's happened is his eyelid has literally been pulled open by the scar tissue there and makes me unable to clear so far so what we're going to do is release this position is eyelid in the correct position again replace what's missing and in this case all that's missing his skin the replacement skin is taken from behind the patient's ear a site often used by gillies taught us a little bit about hiding the donor sites I think this is a very good example of it once this wound is healed the patient will have no visible scars this is the skin that we removed from behind his ear very much like a hairdresser we just trim it into shape using a technique practiced by killers the skin is grafted onto the defect once healed it will not only allow the patient to close his eyes but it will also make him look better for Gilley's both objectives were equally important that's a major step forward in terms of surgery after Gilley's it was considered unacceptable to not make people as normal-looking as possible but just as surgeons were learning to cope with the wounds caused by the big guns and artillery of World War one a new weapon appeared on the battlefields the use of gas during World War one marked a new beginning in the history of warfare used for the first time by the Germans in 1915 on the Eastern Front the French and the British soon followed suit it began an era of the indiscriminate weapon and injuries for which there was no treatment that's all having a cloak that evening we have the wear of gas shells coming in our direction as they burst close to us who soon smelt they're penetrating order the air became saturated with the filthy death-dealing gases caustic and described as smelling of horseradish or garlic mustard gas attacked moist areas of the body first the eyes became irritated then the eyelids would swell forcing the eyes to close vision would be lost in feeding a gas victim the first thing to do was remove his clothing and wash the skin thoroughly but if a man was badly gassed and his clothing heavily impregnated medical officers attending him would themselves become victims sometime about noon my relief came up Abraham found me nearly blind through intense irritation and swelling of the cornea constantly vomiting he put me on a stretcher I felt horribly exposed for shell still fell sporadically Oh teach the casualty clearing station fairly late in the afternoon I could still tell the difference between light and darkness but by morning even that amount of sight was gone and I was quite blind for four or five days the gas could also produce more permanent damage inhaled it would cause lungs to blister tumors and death often followed doctors could do little more than relieve the victims pain the use of gas actually ran contrary to an international agreement declared in the hague in 1899 ever since this illegal use surgeons have had an extra role to play in warfare the detection and prevention of weapons that cause unnecessary and irreversible damage I do believe that doctors and health care workers have a role to play not only in acting as witnesses but in data gathering because my understanding of the Geneva Convention is that the rules of engagement allow weapons which do not inflict unnecessary suffering or superfluous injury I believe is the wording and if I believe if doctors are aware of weapons which which would come into that category then they have a duty a moral duty to attempt to do something about it history shows that during most conflicts the rules of war are broken the illegal use of weapons is the norm not the exception the Spanish Civil War saw the first mass aerial bombardment in history and the first time civilians were killed and injured in large numbers incendiary bombs releasing a liquid fire formed great blazes in the city's buildings fell crushing men women and children for the people it was absolute terror even the citizens of remote hillside villages found themselves in the direct line of fire they bombed the village on August 4th 1938 I was out there in the fields I saw everything I saw the village become a blare of stones disappear from the view and I thought it was razed to the ground the nature of conflict had changed now civilians were targets as much as soldiers everyday hundreds of casualties needed urgent treatment but finding a safe place for a hospital was difficult one team of medics used a great cave near the village of Bisbal de FAL set Joseph's perello worked at the hospital as a young boy well this cave as it's so big is a good refuge they prepared it all and when the world began casualties began to arrive and there in the cave they put the beds and there were about a hundred or so beds and there was a lot of space simple makeshift solutions are often the case during Wars in the chaos of conflict labor intensive treatments are impractical the sheer number of casualties is too great this was the case in the Spanish Civil War where there were thousands of civilian casualties the most common injury was an open fracture of the limb where the bone had punctured the skin a serious condition that leads to life-threatening infection if not treated a method of handling mass casualties was needed one surgeon named Joseph treta had a simple solution plaster of Paris this technician can routinely apply a plaster cast in about two minutes it's a very quick method of immobilizing a limb its primary function of course is the repair of bone fractures but true Etta discovered that open wounds also healed well in the stable environment it provided as long as the wound was thoroughly cleaned and all dead and contaminated tissue was removed before the plaster was applied the limb could be left to repair itself by the end of the Spanish Civil War nearly 20,000 casualties had been successfully treated using the true etta technique it was a perfect solution to a wartime problem when hospital facilities and staff are overwhelmed a quick and simple method of processing casualties is required in war surgery simplicity is often the rule on September 7th 1941 Nazi aircraft declared war on the citizens of London during the first night of the London Blitz 436 men women and children were killed and 1,600 severely injured hundreds took to the task of rescuing them from the rubble the medics had to work under difficult and dangerous conditions I removed the body of the man who had just died and returned in time to see the doctor tried to remove the injured person from the health suddenly there was a rushing noise from the back lookout someone shouted in the next moment the two men were blotted out by an avalanche of clay they had heard the shout and just before they were buried I saw the doctor look up neither of them made any attempt to escape but made a last frantic effort to free to trap man we got the three of them out alive the medics patrolled the bombed sites and stabilized the wounded before evacuating them to hospitals many of the victims suffered terrible burns falling masonry broke bones building debris pressed on chests suffocating victims but some were pulled out alive with little sign of injury only to become very ill a few days later they came in we put them to bed as usual gave them think cup of tea wrap them up to look over them and we found really nothing to worry about but then a little bit later they complete began to explain a bit of trouble in their limbs and we watched the muscle of their legs for instance swelling the patients were suffering from the after-effects of crush injury as debris pressed on limbs the blood flow was stopped if the victim was not released from the rubble within two hours the muscle tissue died when they were retrieved and blood began to flow again harmful dead muscle protein was released into the circulation it dawned on us gradually because towards three or four days they began to feel uncomfortable their blood pressure fell they went into real shock very pale sweating blood pressure and some of them devote kidney failure the kidneys were in fact becoming blocked by the dead muscle proteins the treatment devised by Bywaters was simple and is used today in all crush victims the idea of treatment really is to keep the blood volume up by giving plenty of fluids to really keep the kidneys well flushed so that these toxic substances don't block up there but are washed through if you like and flush through so that the kidneys don't get blocked up and and don't get damaged and some people talk also about using sodium bicarbonate to alkalinize the urine which then helps to helps to speed the elimination of these toxic substances as German bombers were attacking London German forces on the Eastern Front were simultaneously encircling the city of Leningrad it marked the beginning of a siege that was to last 900 days as the Russians rallied to the defense of their city its suburbs became one big killing field civilian doctors suddenly found themselves on the front line with a special bomb the city itself was effectively the prank both groups and hospitals were allocated here we receive the wounded almost directly from the battlefields at the time there was alone on the siege and they may come and try us we're in the winter camouflage overcoats you could literally smell the Gunpowder as thousands of casualties poured into the city hospitals medical facilities were overwhelmed few of the surgeons had any experience of combat injuries they were civilian doctors forced into a war situation wasn't it very hard it was not every night that we slept we were lucky if we go two or three hours sleep we used to find it difficult to keep on our feet at these times the work with jitan round here amounted to five years experience in peacetime for doctors this is how immense was the experience with vacation yet the situation was made worse because of the lack of supplies the city was completely isolated no food fuel or even medical supplies could make it through the Nazi blockades which introduced working conditions were most difficult here in the operations unit because there was a shortage of linen uniforms and sheets to cover the patients during operations we were short of gloves all the time they were used many times after washing and disinfecting them they had to be glued together the nurses would be gluing them at night if they did not have any operations there was no heating and no electricity surgery often had to be done by torchlight with large numbers of casualties supplies soon ran out and the doctors had to improvise with any available material a method of traction was used to cure fractures for this purpose we used pins unfortunately we were very short of pins and our friends sacrifice their umbrellas we would remove the metal spokes from the umbrellas process them and use them in traction on the battlefield war surgeons usually deal with fit young men if they make it to the surgeon most injured soldiers survive and make a good recovery yet the war victims of Leningrad were anything but fit many were on the brink of starvation it's anger a mutative it minnows in apologies wounded with scurvy and history have the highest death rate their wounds were very hidden their fractured bones also mended exceedingly slowly there were cases where a medical aid will be pointless damage incompatible with life was written down in their medical history notes the intense trauma of the d-day landings in 1944 has seldom been surpassed this was the biggest military invasion in history with 50,000 troops landing on 50 miles of hostile coastline casualties were inevitable it was the great advantage that you were dealing with the chap who had been hit and young and healthy and then he phoned it and all the only what to do quickly is to stop the meeting treat the shock if necessary and excise the wound divide in patient because he might one of those three is gonna kill him Colonel John watts was among the first surgeons in Normandy on d-day he arrived by glider with the second wave of the air landing during the landings 60% of the dropped equipment was lost including medical supplies in the heat of a battle a cool head applying the correct technique with limited supplies can literally mean the difference between life or death we had to check in Normandy with wounded his left side bleeding and he was lying in a bath of his own blood on there was a ground sheet on the stretcher and this was what only a finger depth of blood and all we had to do was take tourniquet off when he stopped eating in the difficult conditions of war it can be very easy to apply the wrong treatment the obvious in this case the application of a tourniquet to stop bleeding may not necessarily be the correct solution once you put a tourniquet on you shut off the veins unless you have it tight enough shut off the arteries blood can get in and not out and when I have lecture I my usual trick was to have a needle prick my thumb and say there hemorrhage put pressure on it and worse hold it out it stops the number of people who had killed my Tori case must be tremendous compared to the Allies the German medics often used different methods to treat their injured this was largely because they were basing their treatments on different medical knowledge escaped freely available written field ever many cases where the Allies had more information and were able to act more quickly especially on the battlefield itself if someone was wounded they immediately started to perform emergency treatments he on the other hand had to carry heavy casualties behind the front line first which took time at the time the Germans had not fully realized the importance of the newly discovered antibiotic penicillin a drug that was widely available to the Allied medics during the d-day landings the Germans were still using their own invention sulfonamide drugs to control infection a treatment which was not as effective as the new wonder drug penicillin the Germans also did not have a system for an adequate supply of blood for their casualties snichlt Oscar plague far unfortunately did not develop stored blood which the Americans in particular promoted in this respect we were behind I must admit we didn't know how important it was to replenish his body liquids but we also had very interesting results that the Allies didn't know about here I could mention for example the famous Kanani Gerhardt Kunstler was a military surgeon during World War two he invented a completely new method of treating broken legs by inserting a nail through the bone the nail was hammered into the bone marrow and used to keep the fractured bones aligned Chrysler's method was brave and controversial it was believed to be unviable because of its traumatic nature yet the results were good German surgeons even used the technique on Allied prisoners of war but the Allied medics assumed the worst when they discovered the nails and the bones of their liberated soldiers many of these soldiers these prisoners had been operated upon and a large rod like a spike or a nail had been inserted into their bone the length of the bone sometimes a spike might be 12 15 inches long and this horrified us because we had never seen or heard of any surgeon who would put a spike through the middle of the bone and we assumed that this was another experiment of the Nazis who were using American prisoners to determine whether or not a Streetman worth her treatment was acceptable but Rentschler was not performing a crazy Nazi experiment he had been refining his technique for years his treatment worked and was far superior to what had been before we began to ask ourselves the question why why were we so horrified because these prisoners walk normally their bones had been healed we looked at their x-rays they had no complaints there there was no drainage from their wounds and they seemed to be doing very well in all aspects cruise-less technique became the basis for the treatment of limb fractures throughout the world to this day this surgeon is operating on a patient who has a severe fracture of the upper leg he is using a concealer nail to stabilize the limb going into the femur the femurs normally curved so is the nail AP of the knee please I'm just going to use the hammer just to tap the nail hole on the last okay can I have a lateral of the lower femur please in a refinement of conscious technique pins are now screwed through either end of the nail to allow total lateral movement of the limb okay the Kunstler technique is the ideal treatment for this patients injuries you wouldn't use a plastic after this they do we keep it on traction in bed for about three months and people really don't tolerate that sort of treatment very well being in bed for that length of time gives people pressure sores in pneumonia and deep vein thrombosis and they can be fatal complications this lady if she's well enough from the an aesthetic point of view should be able to get up and walk on this tomorrow surgeons have always been able to refine their techniques in times of war Wars give them large numbers of casualties to practice their craft but after World War two the nature of war surgery changed in fact the nature of conflict changed huge armies facing each other inflicting maximum harm would become a phenomenon of the past future Wars would be fought using fewer land troops and support from the air medics would become very mobile to keep up with hostilities casualties could be within reach of a high-tech military hospital in a matter of minutes World War two saw the horrors of mass civilian casualties and injuries which are untreatable in the face of such appalling harm the use of weapons of mass destruction was largely curtailed the mutilation of innocent civilians however continued collateral damage entered the vocabulary war surgeons would now have to deal with an ever-increasing problem the human cost of war

24 thoughts on “How War Advanced Medical Technology (Medical History Documentary) | Timeline

  • The pin inside bone marrow technique really amazes me
    It's so simple and totally makes senses though a bit scary

  • I don't like how this is so biased. Why not mention that the WMDs of gas and nukes are Jewish inventions? Or mention that London Blitz was a response to the RAF starting to bomb German civilians.

    I know it's a medical documentary but it should just stick to staying politically neutral, not promote propaganda and fuel new strife.

    And blood has been proven to be a toxic treatment, medical sudo science at it's finest.

  • The ancient Egyptians knew that setting broken bones was a critical step in saving lives due to broken bones

    They also knew the brain controls movement of the body

    After battle many fellow soldiers returned with trouble walking and manipulating objects even though they never sustained any injuries to those parts of the body


  • We know war is bad and should not waged as much as possible, but it was also because of war did we get such rapid advances in life-saving techniques and medical science. Such an ambivalent matter.

  • If there is anything positive about war it could be said its this, the fact that many lives were saved and that the knowledge has advanced and continues to save lives today.

  • Oh, the privilege of being a man. Those women who'd given men/boys white feathers … I wonder if they would have remained stony hearted if they'd seen this.

  • A split second to sustain a horrible injury and so many specialists and so much time to heal, and so often with so many deficits. A military medic. To treat soldiers in the heat of battle. That's a special person. Me. I'd be too scared. I would rather run the SAW.

  • We act as if we know everything there is to know these days. I'm betting you it won't be all that long until we discover yet another deadly disease which we cannot begin to understand. Just you wait.

  • Absorbent padding was developed in WW 1 to treat wounds in the field. The women discovered them and grabbed them, and the sanitary napkin was born.

  • Great series so far. And my god those descriptions at the start “only a head and thorax left” and “screaming red heap” 🤢 I’m really grateful for that German nail technique of repairing fractures. I have one in my leg from a traffic accident. You’d never know it was there. I was playing soccer 8 months later

  • Dating the plaster cast into the Spanish civil war must be a mistake: I do not have historical evidence, but applying a plaster cast on a broken limb is described in a novel by the German Karl May, first published in the late 1880s.

  • Great documentary team, and fascinating. Always understood the medical advancements made through conflict but this is very informative. As documentary makes at Geerlings Digital Moments it is rewarding to inform the viewer, as we learn more ourselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *