Tesla was mocked and scorned and died penniless and insane, and then everyone was like, "Oops. Turns out he was an über-genius." So that effectively set science back quite a bit. Who knows where we'd be today if some of his discoveries were adopted and implemented earlier?
How Science has advanced since the Victorian Era...
by ziddina 71 Replies latest social current
Getting back to Civil-War era medical practices...
Now, that is one scary set of medical instruments!!!
Compare that with what we have nowadays - MRI, 'CAT' scans, lasers, ultrasound, x-rays...
And the advanced acalpels and other tools on this site: http://www.emsdiasum.com/microscopy/products/histology/scalpels.aspx
And of course the afore-mentioned antibiotics!!
Here's an abstract discussing the "advancements" in medicine that occurred during the American Civil War...
The contributions to medical care that developed during the Civil War have not been fully appreciated, probably because the quality of care administered was compared against modern standards rather than the standards of the time. The specific accomplishments that constituted major advances were as follows. 1. Accumulation of adequate records and detailed reports for the first time permitted a complete military medical history. This led to the publication of the Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, which was identified in Europe as the first major academic accomplishment by US medicine. 2. Development of a system of managing mass casualties, including aid stations, field hospitals, and general hospitals, set the pattern for management of the wounded in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. 3. The pavilion-style general hospitals, which were well ventilated and clean, were copied in the design of large civilian hospitals over the next 75 years. 4. The importance of immediate, definitive treatment of wounds and fractures was demonstrated and it was shown that major operative procedures, such as amputation, were optimally carried out in the first 24 hours after wounding. 5. The importance of sanitation and hygiene in preventing infection, disease, and death among the troops in the field was demonstrated. 6. Female nurses were introduced to hospital care and Catholic orders entered the hospital business. 7. The experience and training of thousands of physicians were upgraded and they were introduced to new ideas and standards of care. These included familiarity with prevention and treatment of infectious disease, with anesthetic agents, and with surgical principles that rapidly advanced the overall quality of American medical practice. 8. The Sanitary Commission was formed, a civilian-organized soldier's relief society that set the pattern for the development of the American Red Cross.
While I agree that the typical practices of the time are what the Civil War medical developments should be measured against, take a look at what they seem to primarily consist of...
1. Accumulation of adequate records and detailed reports for the first time permitted a complete military medical history.
2. Development of a system of managing mass casualties, including aid stations, field hospitals, and general hospitals...
3. The pavilion-style general hospitals, which were well ventilated and clean, were copied in the design of large civilian hospitals over the next 75 years...
4. The importance of immediate, definitive treatment of wounds and fractures was demonstrated and it was shown that major operative procedures, such as amputation, were optimally carried out in the first 24 hours after wounding... 
5. The importance of sanitation and hygiene in preventing infection, disease, and death among the troops in the field was demonstrated.
6. Female nurses were introduced to hospital care and Catholic orders entered the hospital business.
7. The experience and training of thousands of physicians were upgraded and they were introduced to new ideas and standards of care. These included familiarity with prevention and treatment of infectious disease, with anesthetic agents, and with surgical principles...
8. The Sanitary Commission was formed, a civilian-organized soldier's relief society that set the pattern for the development of the American Red Cross.
True, those were impressive advancements, but very little could be done to graft skin, blood vessels or bone; prevent gangrene, alleviate pain; the anesthetics were primitive and often applied unevenly...
I don't think they understood the connection between mosquitoes and diseases such as malaria at that time, either...
Before antibiotics, often amputation was the only way to save the poor sod's life.
I have a life-size replica of Fowler's Phrenology head.
Just for fun.
Don't forget leeches!
Palm, I would totally love an antique phrenology head. I collect a lot of those old medical/biology oddities and ephemera...pull-down charts of the muscular system, etc.
AND! I just ran into this interesting article on Victorian paleontology...
From this site: http://joanimals.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/victorian-paleontology-and-women-writers/
"In the interest of carving out a ridiculous niche for myself in the world of literary scholarship, I've decided that I'm going to start telling people that my field is women's writing and paleontology. The impetus for this claim-which isn't as absurd as one might hope it to be, as people study all sorts of insane things in the alternate universe that is academia-is Bleak House. I love the opening lines of the book, but I wasn't sure why Dickens felt the need to refer to a dinosaur in the third sentence of the novel. It turns out that right around the time that the serial publication of Bleak House began-it ran in monthly installments from March 1852 to September 1853-there was a sort of Megalosaurus-mania in England. ..."
Here's the accompanying photo...
Apparently this is part of the 1851 - 1852 exhibition at the "Crystal Palace" in London...
The article goes on:
"...The dinosaur itself is obviously a rather obsolete rendering-Victorian paleontology apparently had most dinosaurs walking on all fours, like iguanas. The Megalosarus was later re-rendered and ends up looking more like a T-Rex. ..."
And here is the modern rendering of the "megalosaurus"....
What a difference a little advancement in science makes, eh???
Check out the medical care suffered by President James Garfield.
He might very well have survived the shooting, save the "expert" (for the time) medical care he received afterwards.
Similar [edited - I meant, 'as primitive as' ] to the attempts to "save" President Lincoln after Booth's assassination attempt...
Abraham Lincoln probably would have had trouble expressing ideas, struggled with dyslexia and experienced vision problems. But the nation's 16th president might have survived an assassin's bullet to the head if today's medical technology had been available.
"He would have had a long recovery," said Thomas M. Scalea, MD, physician in chief at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. "Could he have been president again? Maybe."
Dr. Scalea spoke about Lincoln last month at the university during the 13th annual Historical Clinicopathological Conference. The gathering attracted more than 300 alumni, faculty, students and history buffs.
Past conferences explored medical mysteries of prominent figures such as Alexander the Great and Edgar Allan Poe.
President Lincoln died 10 hours after being shot in the head.
On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was shot in the back of the head by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The bullet from Booth's derringer stopped behind Lincoln's left eye. Army assistant surgeon Charles Leale, who was at the theater, cared for Lincoln and found a blood clot at the back of the president's head.
Physicians used brain decompression, but within 10 hours, Lincoln was dead.
"The state of the art that they offered him was brandy, water and probing the wound," said Dr. Scalea, who reviewed medical records from Lincoln's physicians.
If the shooting happened now, Lincoln would be airlifted to the Baltimore trauma center for a CT scan and medications to reduce effects of brain swelling. Surgery would be done to lessen pressure and remove accumulated blood. Doctors also would work to prevent additional brain damage.
"If [Lincoln] came in here tonight and lived, we wouldn't be amazed," Dr. Scalea said.
He said Lincoln's frontal lobes were spared, preserving sections that handle emotions, language and problem-solving. With rehabilitation, the president would have improved and may have been able to communicate.
Steven Lee Carson, a U.S. presidential historian who spoke at the conference, said he believes Lincoln would have had a difficult time returning to a normal presidency.
"If Lincoln had survived, he would have been in such bad shape that there would have been a long, long rehabilitation," Carson said. He noted that at the time, there was no provision for replacing a disabled president. It wasn't until 1967 that the 25th Amendment was ratified to address transfer of power from the president.
Yes, Victorian Era medical care sucked.
So we shouldn't trust any doctors today.
Am I right?
Am I right?