The Key Turning Points in Warfare From 1845 to 1918 Essay

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As the very nature of warfare has changed throughout the ages, simultaneously the capability to deal with these technological advances has evolved. Weapons have arguably become more detrimental and in turn the casualties have risen and injuries have become more severe. Therefore, medicine has had to adapt to changes of weaponry in order to maintain a high population, otherwise wars would be lost and won more easily and the death toll would be elevated. There are four wars in the time period given that have contributed to the advancement of medicine; The Crimean War; The American Civil War; The Second Boar War; and World War One. Each will be investigated to determine how medicine may have changed the course of the war and if there is any …show more content…
Death rates in hospitals dramatically decreased and her pedantic reporting on the number of deaths and the causes gave her evidence to justify the need for improving conditions in British hospitals. Not only was Nightingale a nurse, she was a statistician who advocated the use of statistics as a tool for decision making – she created graphs to demonstrate the greater effect of disease rather than injury on soldier death rates. Her work can be described as one of the turning points in medical history because it has a large influence on hospital design and nursing practices used today. Nightingale’s understanding of hygiene being a factor contributing to high death rates led both British hospitals and the army to continue modernisation of medical provision and see falling death rates as a repercussion.

What’s more, in the same era, scientists such as Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister had begun to radically transform medicine. Pasteur had pioneered “germ theory” which advocates that microorganisms are the cause of diseases. Lister utilised this theory with respect to surgical techniques: using carbolic acid - an antiseptic - to help clean wounds and surgical instruments. As a result deaths fell sharply (in Newcastle, rates plummeted from 60% to 4%) and, combined with anaesthesia, enabled surgeons to operate more slowly on patients finding new discoveries to further advance medicine. Finally, Henry

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