The great war and the birth of modern medicine A history

Thomas Helling, 1947-

Book - 2022

"The Great War of 1914-1918 burst on the European scene with a brutality to mankind not yet witnessed by the civilized world... Suddenly, thousands upon thousands of maimed, beaten, and bleeding men surged into aid stations and hospitals with injuries unimaginable in their scope and destruction... [This book] provides a startling and graphic account of the efforts of teams of doctors and researchers to quickly develop medical and surgical solutions. Those problems of gas gangrene, hemorrhag...ic shock, gas poisoning, brain trauma, facial disfigurement, broken bones, and broken spirits flooded hospital beds, stressing caregivers and prompting medical innovations that would last far beyond the Armistice of 1918 and would eventually provide the backbone of modern medical therapy. Thomas Helling's description of events that shaped refinements of medical care is a riveting account of the ingenuity and resourcefulness of men and women to deter the total destruction of the human body and human mind. His tales of surgical daring, industrial collaboration, scientific discovery, and utter compassion provide an understanding of the horror that laid a foundation for the medical wonders of today."--

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2nd Floor New Shelf 610.9/Helling (NEW SHELF) Due Jul 18, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Pegasus Books 2022.
Edition
First Pegasus Books cloth edition
Language
English
Physical Description
374 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-311) and index.
ISBN
9781643138992
1643138995
Main Author
Thomas Helling, 1947- (author)
  • The Fury of War
  • Marcille, Mignon, and Verdun: The Peculiar Metamorphosis of Battlefield Surgery
  • Deep Mischief Lurking: The Unraveling of Traumatic Shock
  • "The Most Atrocious of Ills": The Great War and the Scourge of Gas Gangrene
  • "Gas, Gas, Gas!"
  • Röntgen's Rays and Petites Curies
  • The Remarkable Harvey Cushing and His Journeys through the Brain
  • Shattered Faces
  • Owen Thomas, His Splint, and Nephew Robert
  • Shell Shock
  • Death Rides upon a Pale Horse: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918
  • And After the Dying.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Acknowledging that WWI was a nightmare of madness and slaughter, surgeon Helling nonetheless credits the conflict for sparking advances in medical science and medical care of combatants. Helling envisions the battlefield as a kind of brutal laboratory for research and breakthroughs. In addition to injuries caused by artillery, soldiers fighting in the so-called Great War were threatened by chemical weapons using chlorine gas, phosgene gas, and mustard gas as well as infections from tetanus and gas gangrene. They were also susceptible to "shell shock" or PTSD. Helling presents stomach-turning descriptions of maimed soldiers and of how overwhelmed medical professionals were too often inadequately prepared to manage the carnage. Yet innovations and improvements in treatment, including the use of blood transfusions—design of protective mask respirators, development of mobile radiology units, enhanced wound care, and new surgical techniques, such as facial reconstruction and better management of fractured bones—arose in response to injuries wrought by the war. Helling also addresses the horrific impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic on those directly involved in the war and the world over. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Acknowledging that WWI was a nightmare of madness and slaughter, surgeon Helling nonetheless credits the conflict for sparking advances in medical science and medical care of combatants. Helling envisions the battlefield as a kind of brutal laboratory for research and breakthroughs. In addition to injuries caused by artillery, soldiers fighting in the so-called Great War were threatened by chemical weapons using chlorine gas, phosgene gas, and mustard gas as well as infections from tetanus and gas gangrene. They were also susceptible to "shell shock" or PTSD. Helling presents stomach-turning descriptions of maimed soldiers and of how overwhelmed medical professionals were too often inadequately prepared to manage the carnage. Yet innovations and improvements in treatment, including the use of blood transfusions—design of protective mask respirators, development of mobile radiology units, enhanced wound care, and new surgical techniques, such as facial reconstruction and better management of fractured bones—arose in response to injuries wrought by the war. Helling also addresses the horrific impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic on those directly involved in the war and the world over. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A startling narrative revealing the impressive medical and surgical advances that quickly developed as solutions to the horrors unleashed by World War I.The Great War of 1914-1918 burst on the European scene with a brutality to mankind not yet witnessed by the civilized world. Modern warfare was no longer the stuff of chivalry and honor; it was a mutilative, deadly, and humbling exercise to wipe out the very presence of humanity. Suddenly, thousands upon thousands of maimed, beaten, and bleeding men surged into aid stations and hospitals with injuries unimaginable in their scope and destruction. Doctors scrambled to find some way to salvage not only life but limb.The Great War and the Birth of Modern Medicine provides a startling and graphic account of the efforts of teams of doctors and researchers to quickly develop medical and surgical solutions. Those problems of gas gangrene, hemorrhagic shock, gas poisoning, brain trauma, facial disfigurement, broken bones, and broken spirits flooded hospital beds, stressing caregivers and prompting medical innovations that would last far beyond the Armistice of 1918 and would eventually provide the backbone of modern medical therapy.Thomas Helling’s description of events that shaped refinements of medical care is a riveting account of the ingenuity and resourcefulness of men and women to deter the total destruction of the human body and human mind. His tales of surgical daring, industrial collaboration, scientific discovery, and utter compassion provide an understanding of the horror that laid a foundation for the medical wonders of today. The marvels of resuscitation, blood transfusion, brain surgery, X-rays, and bone setting all had their beginnings on the battlefields of France. The influenza contagion in 1918 was an ominous forerunner of the frightening pandemic of 2020-2021.For anyone curious about the true terrors of war and the miracles of modern medicine, this is a must read.