Doctors did not understand infection, and did little to prevent it. It was a time before antiseptics, and a time when there was no attempt to maintain sterility during surgery.
Effects of diseases during the war
thousands died from diseases such as typhoid or dysentery. The deadliest thing that faced the Civil War soldier was disease.The seven most common diseases in army camps were typhoid fever, smallpox, measles, diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and tuberculosis.
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell and Georgeanna Woolsey
chloroform and ether were the types of anesthesia used during surgery. morphine was also used. Surgery was not as "high tech" as today, when soldiers needed a limb amputated, the doctors took a saw and cut off the damaged limb.
Pneumonia was responsible for the deaths of 20,000 Union and 17,000 Confederate troops. Typhoidwas a result of contaminated water or food. Typhoid killed around 30,000 Confederate and 35,000 Union troops. measles killed around 11,000 soldiers in total. Tuberculosis killed about 14,000 soldiers in total. Malaria killed roughly 30,000 soldiers
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was an English immigrant and the first woman to earn a medical degree in the US. Georgeanna should not have been allowed to serve the army as a nurse, but she got through the application process anyway. Against her mother’s and sisters’ wishes, she was one of the 100 women trained in New York City to be a nurse.
Gunshot wounds were a big part of deaths and wounded soldiers in the civil war, even though more soldiers died from diseases than gunshot wounds, they were still a big cause of death.