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  • Somme + 100

    Posted by David Foster on July 1st, 2016 (All posts by )

    Today marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.  The Telegraph is covering the events as if in real time, in a blog-like format, most recent posts at the top.


    One Response to “Somme + 100”

    1. Mike K Says:

      That battle, as costly as it was, began a huge change in military medicine.

      A comment I made at another site:

      I have a chapter in my medical history book on this battle. The British medical corps did not believe that transfusion was helpful in “shell shock” until Americans and Canadians came over in 1916 and began using transfusion on wounded soldiers. Edward Archibald was a young Canadian surgeon who began to understand that wound shock was from blood loss. It seems archaic to us but casualties were treated with hot water bottles for shock until Archibald, who had spent time with George Crile, at Cleveland Clinic and learned about blood loss in shock, arrived in France and realized the problem. It was after the Battle of the Somme that the British Medical Journal finally changed the recommended treat of wound shock from saline rectal infusion to transfusion with blood. Part of the problem was understanding the use of intravenous fluids.

      The deaths at the Somme convinced the young British surgeons in the “Casualty Clearing Stations” that shock was caused by bleeding.

      Interestingly, Wiki, in Archibald’s bio, completely ignores his huge contribution to military medicine.