Amputation In Civil War

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Amputation in the Civil War The Civil War is known to be the bloodiest war to ever happen. 620,000 Americans lost their life to this battle, some to injuries, but many more to infection. During the Civil War many doctors were forced to make advancements to medicine. If it weren’t for the Civil War we wouldn’t have nearly as much knowledge as we do. In the Civil War many men got injured and needed surgery, or even amputation. Many problems arose from that. Very little was known about bacteria and infections then. Having clean supplies was not a priority, or even thought of as important. Doctors never thought that it was cause any problems. When performing surgeries they would use unsterile tools, clothes, and bandages. A common infection…show more content…
Some tools we wouldn’t expect, but some are quite common. They used scalpels, clamps, scissors, and probes; just like the ones we still use today. Chainsaws and amputation saws were used to cut through the bone and tough tissue when amputating, although many other tools were used such as: straight forceps, tourniquets, catlins, bone brushes, and amputating knives. Straight forceps were able to remove objects that were lodged into the patient, which was useful for the many bullets doctors had to remove. Tourniquets were like ropes that were used to cut off arteries to keep the patient from bleeding out during surgery. Catlins were double edged knives, used to cut through soft tissue. Bone brushes would brush out the bone saw dust from the site so the doctors could continue to work. Amputating knives looked like normal kitchen knives, but were used to cut human flesh. It is often heard that the soldiers had to ‘bit the bullet’ when getting a limb amputated, which is not true. ‘Biting the bullet’ means that they would put an object into the patients mouth to bite on because of the amount of pain they were going through while undergoing an amputation with no anesthetics or pain killers. It was more commonly used with the union than the confederate side, so unfortunately, the confederates would occasionally have to ‘bit the bullet’. Chloroform was used before the procedure to

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