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Care of the Wounded

Nature volume 154, page 584 (04 November 1944) | Download Citation



THOSE who had the experience of being transported, after the War of 1914–18, from, say, the less civilized Iraq of those days to a bed in one of the temporary military hospitals in England considered that they were being handled by an organization which it would be diffcult to improve. But we realize, when we read the three articles contributed by a Special Correspondent to the Lancet (253, August 19, 1944; 278, August 26, 1944; 383, September 16, 1944), how much more is now being done for the wounded and the sick. These three articles on the wounded from Normandy must be read; they cannot be summarized. They explain why the casualty-rate among the wounded has been low. The doctor and the medical organization go right forward into the battle; paratroops and tanks have their field ambulances; the soldier knows much more about first-aid and about how to keep himself fit; surgical treatment is given early; blood transfusions are given much earlier; penicillin is available everywhere; and air transport, described in the second article, has been well organized. When they get to Britain, the wounded pass into the hands of the home hospital services and their network of ancillary organizations, which extend right back to the humblest civilian who goes along, when he is asked to do so, to give a pint of blood. The destinies of that blood have been described in the Press and pictured on the cinema screen. They are symbolic of the whole service. It is to be hoped that, after the War, this organization will be applied to national life in peace as well as in war, and that the soldier will bring back into civil life the knowledge of how to keep fighting fit which the R.A.M.C. has taught him so well that "nothing like it has ever been done either in military or civil life".

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