Image: Surgeon George Gask operating at Canadian CCS 2 at Remy Siding in 1917
About this online talk: In 1914, the real treatment of wounds didn't start until the soldier arrived at the base hospital, a journey which sometimes took days. Anaesthesia was poor, surgical methods were inefficient, resuscitation almost unheard of. Not surprisingly, many soldiers died from infection when they should have survived. A few pioneering surgeons challenged the establishment. They introduced new methods in the face of bitter opposition and much hostility from doctors who lacked the vision to see that things could be so much better. Due to the pioneers' tenacity, outcomes were transformed. Starting with blood transfusions, by May 1918, medics were able to resuscitate and operate on wounded soldiers within a very short time, saving many limbs and lives.
About the speaker: Tom is a retired orthopaedic surgeon, with a passionate interest in the Great War. He recently published A Time to Die and a Time to Live, the book on which this talk is based. He is co-editor of War Surgery 1914-18 and Wars Pestilence and the Surgeon's Blade (about the evolution of 19th century British military medicine and surgery) as well as co-author of Henry Gray, Surgeon of the Great War, of Understanding the Somme 1916 and of Understanding the Ypres Salient.