Footsteps of the fallen

Trivial, Treatable, Terrible - medicine goes to War

February 19, 2023 Matt Dixon Season 5 Episode 9
Trivial, Treatable, Terrible - medicine goes to War
Footsteps of the fallen
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Footsteps of the fallen
Trivial, Treatable, Terrible - medicine goes to War
Feb 19, 2023 Season 5 Episode 9
Matt Dixon

The Great War saw casualties on an industrial scale. The changing face of warfare placed demands on the medical profession like no conflict before or since.  How did medicine adapt to cope with the demands of Great War casualties?

We begin at Lijssenthoek Cemetery at the grave of Nurse Nellie Spindler who was killed by shell fire while working at a CCS near Brandhoek, and is the only female buried amongst 10,000 men.  We look at the chain of evacuation, the complex series of medical facilities that moved a man from the battlefield to the hospital, and the remarkable feats of organisation that made this possible.

We look at the work of Harold Dakin, a  softly spoken tank-top-loving Bridge playing chemist whose discovery of an antiseptic solution revolutionised the survival rates of wounded soldiers.  We discover the history of the "Petites Curies" wagons that patrolled the battlefields, and find out the origins of the "Fagman".  We examine the work of a Canadian surgeon whose chance discovery changed the way blood transfusions were managed forever, and conclude by looking at the pioneering work of Harold Gillies, the plastic surgeon who changed the lives of thousands of mutilated soldiers, whose life is the subject of the remarkable book "The Facemaker".

Support the podcast
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/footstepsblog
https://www.patreon.com/footstepsofthefallen

Show Notes

The Great War saw casualties on an industrial scale. The changing face of warfare placed demands on the medical profession like no conflict before or since.  How did medicine adapt to cope with the demands of Great War casualties?

We begin at Lijssenthoek Cemetery at the grave of Nurse Nellie Spindler who was killed by shell fire while working at a CCS near Brandhoek, and is the only female buried amongst 10,000 men.  We look at the chain of evacuation, the complex series of medical facilities that moved a man from the battlefield to the hospital, and the remarkable feats of organisation that made this possible.

We look at the work of Harold Dakin, a  softly spoken tank-top-loving Bridge playing chemist whose discovery of an antiseptic solution revolutionised the survival rates of wounded soldiers.  We discover the history of the "Petites Curies" wagons that patrolled the battlefields, and find out the origins of the "Fagman".  We examine the work of a Canadian surgeon whose chance discovery changed the way blood transfusions were managed forever, and conclude by looking at the pioneering work of Harold Gillies, the plastic surgeon who changed the lives of thousands of mutilated soldiers, whose life is the subject of the remarkable book "The Facemaker".

Support the podcast
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/footstepsblog
https://www.patreon.com/footstepsofthefallen