History, Grade Levels, Lesson Plans, Type, Grade 11, High School (9-12), Subject, Social Studies, Grade 12

Mutter Museum Civil War Lesson: Don’t Cut Off My Leg!

Summary:

“Of all the enduring myths of the Civil War, the
image of surgeons as drunken butchers sawing
off the arms and legs of soldiers out of ignorance
or callousness prevails today. In actuality
doctors were extremely cautious and careful
when it came to risking a patient’s life for such
a radical treatment of gunshot wounds. In fact,
most doctors, especially as the war progressed,
preferred to extract damaged bone fragments
or put the mangled limb in a splint rather than
cutting it off. After the war, Union medical sources
accounted for 29,980 amputations in Northern
armies, and approximately 21,753 survived,
an impressive statistic that speaks to the care
and skill of professional medical men and their
caregivers in the hospital.”

Exercise:

Dont Cut off My Leg!.pdf

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