Medicine in World War II

Timeline created by karm
In History
  • Discovery of Sulfanilamide

    Discovery of Sulfanilamide
    Sulfanilamide:The discovery of Sulfanilamide greatly affected the mortality rate during World War II. American soldiers were taught to immediately sprinkle sulfa powder on any open wound to prevent infection. Every soldier was issued a first aid pouch that was designed to be attached to the soldier’s waist belt. The first aid pouch contained a package of sulfa powder and a bandage to dress the wound.
  • Invention of Blood Plasma

    Invention of Blood Plasma
    PlasmaIn the early days of the war, blood plasma was a liquid that brought many a marine or soldier back from the threshold of death. Throughout the war, scientists sought after and finally developed a better blood substitute, serum albumin. Finally, in 1945, whole blood, rich in oxygen-carrying red cells, became available in medical facilities close to the battlefield.
    Blood Plasma
  • Blood Banks

    Blood Banks
    During the war, it was discovered that treatment of shock should include both whole blood and blood plasma, as opposed to earlier thought whole blood and serum. The “Blood for Britain” program, introduced during the 1940 had enjoyed limited success with whole blood, and in August of 1940, the American Red Cross began to collect blood from donors in New York City for export of plasma to Britain.
    Blood Banks
  • Methamphetamine banned

    Methamphetamine banned
    Drug useDrug use:.
    The drug of choice for the German army was a methamphetamine designed to keep soldiers alert and functional for several hours/days. 35 million tablets of methamphetamine were shipped to the army and air force between just April and July 1940 alone. These methamphetamines were later banned in 1941 under the Opium Law but despite the ban a shipment of over 10 million tablets was sent to soldiers later that year.
  • Mepaccrine for Malaria

    Mepaccrine for Malaria
    MalariaMosquito bites were an issue in World War II. A doctor by the name of Sr Neil Hamilton Fairley created a tablet of mepacrine for soldiers to use once a day to keep the malaria away. This kept people free of serious bites that could turn into an illness.
  • Army Hospitals

    Army Hospitals
    VideoHospitalsTowards the end of 1942, the failure to provide prompt medical care and treatment often resulted in prolonged illness. In February 1943, the Secretary of War decided to finance construction of 6 Army Hospitals in order to provide family medical care, additional gynaecologic and obstetric services, and also requiring payment for the services.
    Army Hospitals
    WWII Hospitals Video
  • Penecillin: Development and Distribution

    Penecillin: Development and Distribution
    PenecillinIn 1939, doctors developed a way to use penicillin to treat bacterial infections during WWII. Penicillin made a major difference in the number of deaths and amputations caused by infected wounds among Allied forces, saving 12%–15% of lives. In July 1943, the War Production Board drew up a plan for the mass distribution of penicillin stocks to Allied troops fighting in Europe.
    Discovery of Penecillin
    Penicillin in WWII
  • The Development of Serum Albumin

    The Development of Serum Albumin
    Towards the end of the war, dried plasma began to be replaced by Serum Albumin, the most abundant plasma protein in human blood. The serum was preferable as it was a standard US Navy item used for the priming of explosives, so no delay was necessary in its development, unlike the dried human plasma.
    Serum Albumin
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    Snake BIte Kits

    Snake Bite KitSnake bite suction kits were used on soldiers to remove poisonous snake bites, arrows, and insects. The kits were distributed to soldiers that were in remote jungle areas of the world. Victims of a poisonous bite would use iodine on the bite. Cross incisions were made where the fangs had been. Using a suction cup, the venom would be removed and then the portion of the hurt body would be sterilized.
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    Gas Masks

    VideoGas masksDuring World War 2, gas masks were developed to protect against toxic gases. Although drugs could also be used, gas masks were more effective. A material called whetlerite was the substance that the masks were made out of. Head wound gas masks were also created so that those with an injury in the hospital, could wear a gas mask too, and be shielded from poisonous gases.
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    VaccineAmerican servicemen were also treated for wide variety of diseases before being shipped overseas. The most common vaccinations were for smallpox, typhoid, and tetanus, though soldiers assigned to tropical or extremely rural areas were also vaccinated for cholera, typhus, yellow fever, and bubonic plague. These vaccinations were vital to the health of the soldiers.
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    Morphine Use

    Morphine was used widely in World War II as a pain killer. After the invention of the hypodermic syringe, morphine injections proved indispensable for patients undergoing surgery. Injecting morphine into the blood proved more addictive than smoking or eating opium. What Squibb introduced was called a morphine syrette, which was like a miniature toothpaste tube that contained the morphine. Usually the 1/2 grain injection from the toothpaste tube shaped
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    Medical Experiments

    Video VideoExperiments
    In World War 2, Nazis ruled Germany. Their prejudices against Jews are the reasons behind their multitude of grotesque human experiments done in “the name of medicine”. Some of the more shocking experiments include: sewing twins together, forcing people to live nakidly in the winters, injecting frostbitten patients with blistering water, and many more. Most if not all of these experiments were done with no anesthetics