Surgeries other surgeries performed on the front were
Surgeries and amputations in World War One affected the war greatly. Many soldiers that were fighting had to have their limbs taken off because of injuries that were mostly acquired in the trenches. These amputations saved many soldiers from diseases and infections. The other surgeries performed on the front were abdominal surgeries mainly to remove the bullets or to stabilize the patient and transfer them somewhere else for further treatment. There were many side effects from amputation such as phantom pain and scar tissue. These all left permanent damage but allowed the soldiers to survive. These treatments allowed soldiers to heal quicker and return to the war quicker, but in many amputees, cases returning to the war was not possible. Amputations would keep soldiers legs from being infected and them dying from the infection. The amputations were the quickest solution to the problem and surgeons would more likely amputate then try and fix the bone. Amputations in France were performed more commonly with a guillotine. This procedure was stopped because it was believed to leave nerves open and it gave the soldiers more pain. Amputations saved soldiers from infection which would have killed them. Amputees would face a long life of pain from the amputations and surgeons couldn’t help them because there was no cure. Surgeons saved lives by helping fix injuries that couldn’t be helped with amputations. Surgeons would perform surgeries that could give a patient a normal face or could fix the gunshot wound that was in his abdomen. Surgeons would sometimes take skin from the dead and attach it to faces and body parts of other patients that had gunshot wounds. Surgery that was performed helped the soldiers get back to the war. The surgery would help soldiers be rehabilitated and if their wounds were not severe then they would most likely go back to the war. Below is a quote from a World War one soldier that talks about amputations. “If you have never had trench foot described to you, I will explain. Your feet swell to two to three times their normal size and go completely dead. You can stick a bayonet into them and not feel a thing. If you are lucky enough not to lose your feet and the swelling starts to go down, it is then that the most indescribable agony begins. I have heard men cry and scream with pain and many have had to have their feet and legs amputated. I was one of the lucky ones, but one more day in that trench and it may have been too late.” (Harry Roberts) ( historylearningsite.co.uk, Memories from the Trenches, 2015) This shows that amputations would most likely cause more pain but would save the lives of many and one of the many reasons is because the trench foot would have gotten infected and then could have killed the soldiers. The soldiers who got amputations would most likely never return to fighting because the amputations would give them so much pain. Amputations and surgeries were very risky because they surgeons did not always have the resources needed and they would have to improvise. A lot of the time there wouldn’t be pain medication and the amputees would have an incredible amount of pain. Most of the times if the amputee was lucky enough he would be in so much pain that he would pass out and when they woke up the amputation was over. The surgeons had little to no pain medicine and the amputees would have to bite down on something to keep from biting to had on their teeth and to keep them a little bit distracted. The surgeons would most likely have anesthesia but it was a possibility that they could not have any. If that was to occur then the patient would probably have to bite down on something hard as well. “10 p.m. London. My being here is the result of a conversation this morning with the D.D.M.S. of Boulogne, who, with the understanding that certain American divisions are to come into the British area, favors unifying the neurosurgical service for the combined front. He will take the matter up with the D.G. and an answer should be forthcoming by the end of the week. The idea would be that the proposal made by General Sloggett last November to the Chief Surgeon of the A.E.F., but refused by the latter, be reopened, and that No. 13 General serve as a training ground for men capable of undertaking neurosurgical work not only for the British, but for the American Army as well.While awaiting a decision, he suggested that I familiarize myself with the disposition and condition of the cranio-cerebral cases here in Blighty. It would give me time for a twice-postponed visit to Ireland—just now in a turmoil with the arrest, by order of Lord French, of about 100 Sinn Feiners.I crossed with Meakins and Barcroft, feeling particularly safe, as Sir Eric Geddes was aboard—burly, thick-necked, smooth-shaven. He looks as though he were accustomed to having his own way and the devil take those who oppose. Doubtless the Admiralty needs a person of this particular type to-day.Tuesday, May 21st. LondonWith Sargent and Buzzard to the Tooting Hill Hospital, getting a lead on the neurological cases there. Dinner with Henry Head, to meet Riddoch, who is at the Empire Hospital, and Fearnsides, who is at the shell-shock hospital on Golder’s Green Road. Apparently the Neurological Home Service is all at cross-purposes with patients scattered at Tooting, King George’s, Queen Square, Maida Vale, the London, and 200 incurables at the Star and Garter, Richmond; also officers in small batches at the Empire, Roehampton, Brighton, and elsewhere. I am to see General Goodwin and put the project of organization and unification before him.Wednesday, May 22The morning at the Empire seeing wounded officers with Riddoch—among them Capt. Hyam of No. 46 recollection. The spinal-cord transections, some 40 of them, are doubtless getting better care than would be possible anywhere else. Then at a penny lunch counter some cold tongue and ham on a meal ticket, the waitress putting a spoonful of brown sugar in my coffee when no one was looking.This prior to a conference with Col. Delaney and General Goodwin at Adastral House, on their plans for looking after our wounded here in England. Tea with Capt. Trotter, and more ideas from him of neurological work, followed by an hour in the library of the Royal College of Medicine. Dinner with several neurologists and neurosurgeons, among whom there was little agreement about heads, spines, and peripheral nerves—except that there is an immense lot of work to be done on the incompletely treated cases which gravitate over here from France.London is muggy and depressing—the streets full of cripples—people very tired of the war. They universally voice the feeling that all would shortly have been over if America had not come when she did. Let us hope it may not have been too late. The expected third phase of the great German offensive gets put off from day to day.” (http://www.ourstory.info, From A Surgeon’s Journal1915-1918, 1915 – 1918) It was very surprising that the surgeons would do brain surgery during world war one because it was very risky. These types of surgeries also saved lives but were not performed that often and if they were they were, they were most likely not performed on the front. This type of surgery would require anesthesia and proper pain medications and that is why these kind of operations were not performed on the front. In conclusion surgeries and amputations had a huge effect on World War One. The medical technology saved more lives than in any other previous wars. The surgeries and amputations improved the lives of many soldiers who would have otherwise been dead. The amputations saved the soldiers from deadly infections and the surgeries help people with injuries that could not have been treated otherwise.