Test your knowledge of Civil War medical advances -- from the "father of emergency medicine" to "biting the bullet."
Which of the following medical advances arose from the Civil War and was pioneered by Dr. Jonathan Letterman?
The modern ambulance system
The use of anesthetics in surgery
The use of quinine to battle infection
In the pre-anesthetic days of the Civil War, soldiers were often given no more than a swig of whiskey before surgery.
Amputations during the Civil War were so prevalent due to lack of medical knowledge.
Which modern medical specialties have their roots in the Civil War?
All of the Above
Civil War soldiers would, in the absence of anesthesia, bite on bullets for pain.
The formation of the Sanitary Commission in 1861 inspired the creation of which iconic organization?
The American Red Cross
The Commission for Hospital Safety
The National Institutes of Health
Test your knowledge of Civil War medical advances — from the "father of emergency medicine" to "biting the bullet."
What do you know about
Before the Civil War, medical care for wounded on the battlefield was virtually nonexistent.
What do you know about
Civil War Medicine?
Answer: The modern ambulance system
Known as the “Father of Emergency Medicine,” Letterman was the Medical Director to the Federal Army of the Potomac, and transformed the Medical Corps from an uncoordinated and poorly-supplied operation into one of the most finely-tuned and efficient organizations in the Federal Army.
While ambulances were used to his 1862 order creating a robust and independent Ambulance Corps, but were too few, poorly staffed and organized, and frequently detained for unrelated purposes by non-medical officers.
Jonathan Letterman’s remarkable and history-making contributions to emergency medicine
– National Museum of Civil War Medicine
TAKE THE QUIZ
According to the Museum of Civil War Medicine, a report by the Surgeon General’s office after the war showed that anesthesia was used in approximately 95% of surgeries, and that simple compound anesthetics like ether were available and used by the Confederate side up to the war’s final days.
More about this common myth
In fact, according to Museum of Civil War Medicine CEO George Wunderlich, amputations were a critically important lifesaving measure, stopping rampant infection in a timely manner that helped save not only the man on the table, but the many men lined up behind them.
Why amputation was the go-to option
Answer: All of them.
Medical advances in the Civil War
George Wunderlich explains the myth
Answer: The American Red Cross.
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