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The 1950's
M.A.S.H., Part 1 - A Look at Military Medicine



M.A.S.H., Part 1 - A Look at Military Medicine
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.01

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    post-op, pre-op, thumbs-up, housing, triage, auxiliary, best, administration, urgency, launched, gangrene, medics, suffering, wounded, removal, wartime
     content words:    Civil War, But Union Major Jonathon Letterman, World War I., Michael DeBakey, Auxiliary Surgical Groups, North Africa, Korean War, Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals, As U. S.


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M.A.S.H., Part 1 - A Look at Military Medicine
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     "He who would become a surgeon, let him join an army and follow it." This advice was given by Hippocrates, the early Greek scientist known as the "father of medicine." He knew that being a soldier is a risky job. Men and women in harm's way stand a good chance of needing medical care. In wars down through the ages, doctors and nurses have done their best to patch up wounded soldiers.
 
2     Battlefield medicine has always required special skills. Routines that work in ordinary hospitals aren't practical in the heat of battle. In the early days, not many soldiers survived treatment. Little was known about bacteria or infection. Cleanliness wasn't a priority. Contamination of a wound was a constant danger. Gangrene made the removal of limbs the most common surgery in wartime. More lives were lost to disease and infection than in battle.
 
3     In U.S. Civil War days, field medicine made great strides. Knowledge of sanitation was just in the beginning stages. It would be years before it helped war doctors save lives. But Union Major Jonathon Letterman put into effect many ideas that are still in use today. Letterman pioneered field hospitals. He set up ambulance units. He also argued that medical support for armies should be overseen by those who knew medicine, rather than by regular officers. This led to the making of decisions based on what was best for patients.

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