Question of the Week: 10/3-10/9/22

In your opinion, what was the most important medical innovation from the American Civil War?

7 Responses to Question of the Week: 10/3-10/9/22

  1. Far and away the most important medical advance the Civil War was the system of transportation of the wounded initiated by Jonathan Letterman. That system is still in use by the military today.

  2. Before commencing serious study of the Civil War, my limited exposure to 1860’s health care left me believing, “It was shocking and brutal.” Having devoted over a decade to family history study (and learning that one ancestor died of complications after six months as POW in Alabama and Georgia; and another “was deposited in a Smallpox Hospital to die,”) my outlook has hardened. And I feel that, “A lot of lives would have been saved had the Civil War taken place just five years later… after Joseph Lister’s introduction of antiseptic surgery in 1865.”

  3. I’ll go with reconstructive surgery techniques, processes, and approaches that were developed as a result of the war.

  4. The ambulance-transportation system developed by Dr. Letterman, along with the development of ambulances equipped with springs (such as they were).

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!