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"Doc" Nelson
08-27-2006, 05:57 PM
Greetings,
I would like to start up this thread for those of us that portray Surgeons / Assistant Surgeons / Stewards / Orderlies / Nurses. A thread that we could ask questions, share ideas, or, well, anything else that seems fit. Well, maybe I'll go ahead and start:

I'm interested in "After Action Reports" of Surgeons / Assistant Surgeons from any battle, any side. Are there any specific websites, out there, that have the Reports? I've done general searches using "Google" and have found some After Action Reports, but none from Medical Officers. Any suggestions? Thank you.

NoahBriggs
08-28-2006, 05:33 AM
Try the Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion in Google for original medical AARs.

TimKindred
08-28-2006, 05:53 PM
Comrades,

Start here: (pp210)

http://ehistory.osu.edu/uscw/library/or/067/0210.cfm

And read on for the entirety of the report. It details the organisation, operation, and functions of the entire medical corps of the Army of the Potomac during the Overland Campaign (Wilderness) and includes specifics regarding the various Division Hospitals, and Ambulance Trains of the various Corps that are priceless.

True enough, this represents the culmination of work that reached it's peak efficiency during 1864, but it's very worth your while to read it and even print it out for future reference.

Respects,

verg
08-28-2006, 09:21 PM
Hi!

You might also try:

http://www.thefieldhospital.com/ NOT .org

navigate in and click on "primary documents."

YOS,

John Novicki

"Doc" Nelson
08-31-2006, 09:41 AM
Hey guys, thanks allot.

NoahBriggs
08-31-2006, 11:35 AM
Tim Kindred angled for folder/section for the medical geeks over on "The Other Place". Nothing ever came of it. Wonder if we could set up a medical folder here? Lots of eyeball traffic here, ever since "The Other Place" crashed. Who knows? Maybe we can educate and gross out at the same time. ****, this forum offers more use to the medstaff community than the SoCWS forum.

Still got that list of Soldier's symptoms I sent you? I had "lead fingers" and accidentally deleted my whole email folder filled with my musings on medicine for reenactors. Ugh!

Loyal Order of the Professional Garbage Mind
Proud Member of the Scriveners' Mess
Amateur Sawbones
AGSAS Member
SoCWS Renegade

cookiemom
08-31-2006, 12:19 PM
Tim Kindred angled for folder/section for the medical geeks over on "The Other Place". Nothing ever came of it. Wonder if we could set up a medical folder here? Lots of eyeball traffic here, ever since "The Other Place" crashed. Who knows? Maybe we can educate and gross out at the same time.
It would also be of interest to any civilian lady doing or contemplating a nurse's impression, as well as giving us all some lessons in "up to the minute" medical developments for use "at home."

BobWerner
08-31-2006, 12:20 PM
Tim Kindred angled for folder/section for the medical geeks over on "The Other Place". Nothing ever came of it. Wonder if we could set up a medical folder here? Lots of eyeball traffic here, ever since "The Other Place" crashed. Who knows? Maybe we can educate and gross out at the same time. ****, this forum offers more use to the medstaff community than the SoCWS forum.

Noah, that is appealing! How about a Medical & Relief folder? Organizations like the USSC tie in very nicely with the Medical Dept. A separate folder for the combined Civilian and Military humanitarian efforts would be great. Who knows, we might even be able to concentrate on sharing information rather beating the same old dead horses.
Excellent suggestion!!! Let's get the moderators on board.

Respectfully,

NoahBriggs
08-31-2006, 01:44 PM
This evening I will make an attempt to repost a modified list of how to make reproduction medicines. It was modified from Dixie Leatherworks suggestions, only some of the new modifications better replicate the taste, look and texture of the meds without having DEA Special Agents or Diversion Investigators knocking on your door.

The three most common in the pharmacopiea, and most likely to be found in the relief societies' doantion boxes.

Blue mass pills - Ordinarily someone suggested blue Skittles with the "s" scraped off. Instead, try using raw tapioca, the largest size, and lightly spritz in a pan with water lightly tinted with blue food coloring. Let dry, then roll around in anise or peppermint oil for flavoring. You want the light, gray-blue color. If the tapioca breaks when it dries, so much the better.

Laudanum - some bottles of cola syrup from the drug store, again with peppermint oil or anise mixed in for flavoring.

Opium Pills - brown whole allspice, right off your spice shelf in the supermarket. Flavor if desired.

Put into bottles. There are bottles which are from the Container Store in the kitchen section. They are about three and a half inches high, and about an inch and three-quarters in diameter. I use those, with generic labels so they will fit in any historic scenario.

Other tips to jack up your credibility -

Do not use Nealton probes in 1861 scenarios. Auguste Nealton had not invented it yet.

In 1864 surgeries try to use arterial locking forceps instead of tenacula.

Before administering your "chloroform" smear the patient's face with simple cerate, and cover the eyes with wet cloth so the patient's face does not suffer "chemical burns". Have an attendant stand over the patient's head and pinch the earlobe. If the lobe turns pink after the pinch then the patient has good circulation. If not, then there is a problem.

Check the pulse.

Peel back the eyelids to see if the patient is too far under the anesthetic.

After the amputation, please insert a lump of beeswax into the stump bone. (Something most mainstream surgeons miss.) We don't want any marrow draining out to stain the tablecloth.

Here endeth the preview.

TimKindred
08-31-2006, 02:09 PM
Comrades,

Regarding the "Blue Mass" pills, the Anise or Licorice flavour should be noticeable within the pill, even within it's scent. Basically, it was made up of Mercury, Powdered Rose Leaves, and Powdered Licorice. Honey was added to make a paste, and occasionally some sweet oil, simple syrup, or other more viscuous liquid was used as a binder.

The idea that Noah and I both share is to create an entire range of "look-a-like" medicines that will be entirely inert, yet will have the same texture, flavour, and appearance as the original item.

As to ideas for the relief societies, Aid Societies, etc, I would suggest you consider making roller bandages and packaging lint for the Medical Department. Tourniquets could also be made. I'd be happy to provide dimensons and details for interested parties.

Having a bandage rolling party, or a lint-scraping party is both accurate and useful, is labour-intensive, and produces useable and needful items. Plus, it's a great way to socialise both amongst yourselves, and with the public whilst accomplishing the tasks at hand.

Respects to all,

NoahBriggs
08-31-2006, 02:36 PM
"Having a bandage rolling party, or a lint-scraping party is both accurate and useful, is labour-intensive, and produces useable and needful items."

We need charpie, which is the threads picked out of the cloth. (Basically, the opposite of weaving.) They were wrapped in clumps about two inches long and were used as absorbents under bandages. "Lint" is the stuff scraped off of cloth with a blade.

We also need two- and four-inch square pieces of red felt. These were place on the wound, and the roller bandage rolled over it.

We need stump bandages. Good grief, with all the arms and legs flying everywhere during demos one would think we could at least wrap the stumps correctly. Simply cut a section of muslin in a "T" shape. To use, place a red felt over the stump. Place the stump in the intersection of the "T". Fold the long end of the "T" over the top of the stump, then wrap the shorter sides over the stump. Secure with a roller bandage. Leave your arterial ligatures dangling outside!

Sponges - a couple of cotton balls wrapped in cheesecloth. I dozen wrapped in plain newsprint, and either marked "1 Doz. Sponges USA Hosp. Dept." or your organization's cartouche.

NoahBriggs
08-31-2006, 02:44 PM
" . . . lessons in "up to the minute" medical developments for use "at home."

Madam Cookiemom,
Contact Bob Sullivan for a copy of Beadle's Dime Physician which should give you ideas.

The July 1862 issue of Arthur's Home Magazine provides tips on how to set up a sick room and basicand advanced home care.

Ah, the things we are willing to read out of sheer boredom in the field. :p

I should be careful saying this. A couple of AGSAS women were reading the Dime Physician and asking me how I would handle some of the advanced treatments, like getting rid of kidney stones. I did not know offhand, but I told them when I got home I'd look it up and give 'em an answer.

Never be afraid to admit you don't know. Better to profess knowledge of ignorance than give out wrong information.

TimKindred
08-31-2006, 02:55 PM
Comrades,

Good grief.... now see what we've started? Ah well..... the nice thing about a lot of these items is that, although rather labour-intensive, they are fairly inexpensive to produce. Mostly easy to acquire materials and time. A good set of eyes and hads are also useful:)

One other simple expedient: You can make your own actual quinnine water by just purchasing a bottle of tonic water, opening it, and setting it in your refridgerator until it goes flat. Voila! Actual Quinnine water, but at an exceptionally low dose, not enough to be therapeutic, at least not without Gin to accompany it..... but with the proper taste. Just pour it into the Quinnine canteen and you're all set. Dosage should be approx 1 gill per man per day.

Respects,

"Doc" Nelson
08-31-2006, 05:01 PM
I've "browsed" through just about every other forum. And, well, it seems that each forum has folders for almost every "specialty" (i.e. Cavalry, Infantry, Artillery, etc.), but none for the Medical side. I thought that, by having something where those of us that portray Surgeons, Asst Surgeons, Stewards, etc. we could, share ideas, ask questions, exchange information, or just, make some great friendships.

Noah, I did save all of the emails that you had sent to me. I figured I would "need" them for something, someday. Just let me know what you need and I'll forward it to you :cool:

Thanks guys (and gals) for your posts. Hopefully, this is something that the Moderators would consider (setting up a folder for the Medical Impression). I am going to post a little more later on. I just have to go to School (for the Fire Department) and I'm a little rushed for time. Please, bear with me. Again, thanks a bunch.

celtfiddler
08-31-2006, 06:49 PM
Regarding the mention of needing the T shape bandages--thrift stores are a decent source of really cheap sheets that can be cut up. Or, if you prefer using regular muslin--get on Joann's mailing list (both snail mail and e-mail)--they're pretty liberal about sending out coupons for 40-50% off. If you live in the Chicago area--Troy Corporation has warehouse sales twice a year where you can find some pretty decent deals on full bolts of muslin.


Maybe we can educate and gross out at the same time.

Speaking of the gross out side of things--tapioca pudding does make a decent puss for scenarios requiring it.

I've got to go dig out my stage makeup books--having been overseas for almost two years I got out of practice creating realistic looking wounds. With my dear hubby starting to do more medical I need to make him some prosthetics for demos.

I've also got some catching up to do on reading--I've got several copies of nurse's journals to read.


It would also be of interest to any civilian lady doing or contemplating a nurse's impression

Start reading. Our Army Nurses is a decent book to start with.

If you decide to join the fun the medical folks have at events--have a dress or two that you won't mind potentially ruining. Stage blood can stain clothing.

NoahBriggs
08-31-2006, 07:41 PM
I am not crazy about rubber limbs and so on for demonstrations. Given what's happening overseas I prefer not to wave fake limbs and pink bandages around at demonstrations. In fact I'd argue that controlled use of blood and makeup adds to the educational factor - provided that the patient has been coached on how to behave properly best to simulate the response to the wound/illness.

Nobody simulates shock very well.

You never see anyone simulating near misses or scratch wounds.

Head wounds are never done right at mainstream events. Nobody simulates concussion and all its attendant symptoms. I'm talking the blotched face, bleeding nose, ears, black eye, and the dizziness and disorientation and apathy.

Nobody does surgeon's call and show half the company laid up from the flux. I think that would be more realistic than pretending to extract a bullet from the requisite musician.

You don't need rubber limbs to do a good leg wound. I need some stage blood, a makeup bruise wheel, some cotton and a stick and I can make a wicked compound fracture that'll have modern paramedics running over each other like the Keystone Kops.

Doc Nelson, if you could post some of what I sent you online here, we could start our archives, regardless of whether or not we have our own folder. Thanks!

tompritchett
08-31-2006, 07:41 PM
Stage blood can stain clothing.

If you make the stain go brown, it would just add to the impression.

celtfiddler
08-31-2006, 08:06 PM
If you make the stain go brown, it would just add to the impression.

I'd love to take the time some day to figure out how to get it to the right color when it's dry to simulate dried blood.


Nobody does surgeon's call and show half the company laid up from the flux.

You also don't see the odd burn or knife cut from a food prep accident turning up during sick call. Odds are with folks who aren't necessarily accustomed to preparing their own food, an accident or two would happen. Nor do you see anyone turn up claiming to have been thrown from a horse (it happens).


I need some stage blood, a makeup bruise wheel, some cotton and a stick and I can make a wicked compound fracture

Sounds like you've had similar training to one of the docs I worked with at the event at Wade House in Greenbush WI. He does a facial wound complete with protruding bones that's a sheer work of art. The gentleman uses pieces of chicken bones that he extracts during surgery.

Any chance you'd post pictures?

NoahBriggs
09-01-2006, 05:35 AM
Go to a paint store and ask for "Ox Blood" red. Once it dries it will stain to the mottled brown of a bloodstain. Mix in some clumps of dirt or pieces of cotton ball to simulate scunge and/or clots.

I do not have bloodstained aprons. They are not necessary, since the hospital will have government contract laundresses on-staff under the command of a hospital steward. Their job is to keep the linens as white as possible.

Again, I am reluctant to simulate grisly wounds for a few reasons.

If not made up correctly they look hokey.

If not portrayed correctly they look hokey.

These days your audience have been brought up on healthy (or unhealthy) doses of CSI, and TLC Emergency Room documentaries, and Court TV Forensic Files, not to mention the "reality" garbage which infects today's cable like a virus. They will know if something appears fake.

One of my rules is I make up the patients with survivable wounds. As I do so, I explain what the wound is, how to behave, and a specificed time to be at the hospital/field dressing station. ONLY THOSE PATIENTS ARE RUN THROUGH MY DEMONSTRATIONS. The drama queens and the kids are "triaged" to the side and ignored.

At Paynes Farm there was no time to make people up. Instead, months before the event the registrants were asked if they did NOT want to portray casualties, then please reply to the list. Not many responses. Once onsite, we were given an envelope with our first-person name on it, and instructions not to open it ujntil so ordered.

Literally three minutes before the ball opened we opened the envelopes. Inside was your character's fate, based on the real casualty report. We engaged the enemy at 150 yards, and I treated a total of twelve casualties which were retreived by the musicians at my dressing station. There were near misses, shock, spent rounds (rounds which had lost their kinteic energy not to be lethal on penetration, but nevertheless still hurt), scratch wounds, light, fatal. All the reenactors were told the dressing station was a first person zone. They all played along beautifully. A couple were paramedics and portrayed confusion and delerium and a head wound which creeped us out. Add to this scene it's dark and there was still an active enemy out there and retrieving your wounded comrades was hard to do.

I think I sent a copy of my Paynes Farm AAR to Doc Nelson. If it could be posted that would be great.

NoahBriggs
09-01-2006, 05:43 AM
"Nor do you see anyone turn up claiming to have been thrown from a horse (it happens)."

Unless you do a surgeon in a cav or arty regiment. Then you get to treat broken collarbones from saber strikes, flailed chests from an irate horse kick, facial cuts, missing ears (saber strikes). every branch of the military has their specialty. The navy doctors specialize in treating burns and drowning, since the biggest non-combat hazards onboard are fire and leaks. In combat, that would be spalling from cannonshot hitting the bulkheads, and concussion from the gundecks.

You are right, though, accidents happen.

tompritchett
09-01-2006, 07:40 AM
Unless you do a surgeon in a cav or arty regiment.

Pardon me but horse flesh was also present in the infantry. First, the regimental commander and his two wing commanders were mounted. Second, infantry regiments had wagon trains for all their supplies. These were pulled by horses, mules, or oxen - which were occassionally riden (thanks Hank for that illustration in an earlier thread). All are capable of biting and kicking. Granted, such injuries in an infantry regiment would have been less likely than in cavalry and artillery but they were still very possible.

NoahBriggs
09-01-2006, 08:17 AM
Point noted. Thanks!

FWL
09-01-2006, 08:22 AM
Back when I used to go to MS events I stopped by to visit with my good friends from Mass (32nd Mass Field Hospital), after the predictable powder burn. I was pretty tired, dirty, sleep deprived and very hot. When I get in those moods I can fall asleep anywhere. The medical staff made sure I was not overheating (it was very hot-these people are in a modern army mash units so they really take care of people).

I went over to their "triage" area where the wounded would be placed on stretchers waiting examination. I pulled off my hot wool issue shirt and shoes, put a bloody bandage on my stomach and wrapped another bloody bandage around my head, grabbed a "period crutch" and laid it across my legs, lay down on a stretcher and promptly fell asleep. When I sleep like this my wife says I often let out a horrible snore that sounds like a moose being strangled. I suspect that what was happening, when I woke up to some whispering. Two taters were quietly examining me. I think a mother and her daughter. Daughter; is he really dead?; mother; no of course not but he sounds sick he's making a horrible noise, maybe I should get someone. At this point I had fully woken up and opening my eyes slightly I could see about 7-8 spectators staring at me. They clearly did not want to get too close. I started a slight quiver in my arm and heard the mother say I don't like this at all it’s too real let’s get out of here. I then fell back asleep and enjoyed my nap and awoke greatly refreshed.

Best first person I've done and I had a nap doing it never said a word, never yelled, thrashed about, moaned or did any of those silly fake wounded things. Just a nap, a snore and a slight quiver of the arm plus some "bloody" bandage props.

always willing to help my sawbones friends out.

regards

hanktrent
09-01-2006, 10:18 AM
I used to think that portraying a military doctor was my niche, but one drawback was that it's generally limited to either fairly brief scenarios (couple hours at most) or living history displays. Unlike other roles, there's no opportunity for sustained "work" without patients, and patients are hard to come by, either the same patients for long periods or enough patients cycling through. And I mean period activities, not handing out Gatorade or running a modern first-aid station.

If one is portraying the medical personnel of a healthy regiment, boredom would be period-correct, but it seems just too strange to be sitting around the day after a major battle, or worse yet two hours after a major battle, with no more patients to see and your work all done, whether you're talking to spectators or at a non-spectator event. Ditto with garrison-type situations; there's sick call, but no patients to visit and little work in between one sick call and the next.

Payne's Farm was the best I've been involved in since Burkittsville '01, but even there, it's lucky the battle happened so close to dark. Imagine an event with an afternoon battle where historically doctors worked late into the evening--pretty typical. Yet how do you recreate that?

Is there a solution? Or has that been taken care of and I'm "still going to the wrong events"? :)

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Pvt Schnapps
09-01-2006, 10:25 AM
I used to think that portraying a military doctor was my niche, but one drawback was that it's generally limited to either fairly brief scenarios (couple hours at most) or living history displays. Unlike other roles, there's no opportunity for sustained "work" without patients, and patients are hard to come by, either the same patients for long periods or enough patients cycling through...
Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

I think that once we really get into the administrative activities required by the Medical Department, we'll have about four hours of paperwork for every five minutes of treatment. That'll keep ya busy.

celtfiddler
09-01-2006, 10:48 AM
Unlike other roles, there's no opportunity for sustained "work" without patients, and patients are hard to come by, either the same patients for long periods or enough patients cycling through. And I mean period activities, not handing out Gatorade or running a modern first-aid station.

Amen. You can only write so many letters home, roll so many bandages etc. There's no point in setting up a kitchen with no patients to feed.

That's one of the reasons why being overseas with my husband for nearly two years at his duty station was a welcome respite from burnout and frustration doing a nurse's impression at mainstream events in the midwest. The biggest source of frustration was having a scenario plan in place for the medical demos and having teenage girls determined to play nurse to either keep an eye on a boyfriend or try and pick one up.

hanktrent
09-01-2006, 11:44 AM
I think that once we really get into the administrative activities required by the Medical Department, we'll have about four hours of paperwork for every five minutes of treatment. That'll keep ya busy.

Definitely! We tried to do it "by the book" at Burkittsville '01, and were absolutely swamped with paperwork. Needed to grab a local guy (civilian reenactor) off the street just to sit at the desk and do the paperwork to check in the accoutrements, let alone the prescriptions, inventory of medicines, etc.

Ironically, that both helps, and hurts. It brings the speed of treatment down to the typical modern ER waiting room, but then you need volunteers to sit for two hours waiting to be checked in for treatment of a minor wound, while the doctors are busy with patients higher in the triage rank or further along in the paperwork crawl.

I love that stuff, and would probably gravitate toward steward or nurse or a more clerk-like/pharmacy position if I got into military medical again.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

"Doc" Nelson
09-01-2006, 11:55 AM
Sore joints (rheumatism)

hard hearing, bad vision, green feces, insensate fingertips, hair falling out, teeth falling out, mental apoplexies (ie, starting to go crazy), painful sores on the mouth, and same sores aggravated by hot coffee and food (side effects of blue mass pills for diarrhea and dysentery; not all of these symptoms will be present all at once)

night blindness, teeth falling out, pale complexion, possible open sores (scurvy)

Loose, bloody stools (dysentery, sometimes called the "screamers' from the pain you got trying to hold it in until you reached a latrine)

Diarrhea (loose stools, aka the shits)

Open sores or constant itching on the skin (bugs, popped zits, boils, blisters from constant rubbing of accoutrement straps or your braces; from lack of washing)

Constant, hacking cough (smoking, chronic chest infection, leftover cold or flu, tuberculosis, beginnings of pneumonia)

Bad hearing, ringing or buzzing in the ears, comrades' voices and other sounds muffled or otherwise distorted (hearing loss and tinnitus; excessive quinine usage)

Nervous twitches, hyper sensitivity to ordinary stimuli, (ie, flipping out over a twig snapping) minor hallucinations in the form of "ghosts" and such, sudden violent outbursts (stress-induced, possible
beginnings of PTSD)

Jaw ache (rotting teeth, teeth improperly extracted, beginnings of tetanus)

Bad teeth (you can buy bottles of "nicotine colorations" at Halloween supply stores. The bottles are about $1.50 each and come in light brown, medium brown and black. To use, dry your tooth/teeth with a tissue, and paint on your tooth with the brush which is supplied. Allow to dry and set. The directions say you wipe it off with rubbing alcohol but I have discovered a good brushing of the teeth will clear it off. The stuff tastes minty. Do not bother with the fake "hillbilly teeth". They do not look right. I recommend painting your teeth brown and then letting the black color creep into the gaps between your teeth.)

You'll notice some of these symptoms and complaints overlap. that way nobody can figure out exactly what you have.

celtfiddler
09-01-2006, 12:05 PM
Bad teeth (you can buy bottles of "nicotine colorations" at Halloween supply stores.

Wonder if the dentist who occasionally did medical at the Wade House event in Greenbush WI knows about this stuff? He brings his chair and foot powered drill out with him....

NoahBriggs
09-01-2006, 12:37 PM
Thank you Jimmy, keep them posts coming!

We did paperwork at Paynes Farm, too, and Hank was my faithful orderly at that one. Yep, we were swamped with the paper there, too and that was bare bones stuff, too. I spent an hour transferring the notes from my patient register to fill out the Form 23 (a list of wounded, killed and missing). It took an hour because I was tired, I was writing it on the paper using only a sputtering candle for light. I was also interrupted by company officers asking about their men, too. One of the finest "period moments" in my time in the hobby.

"Doc" Nelson
09-01-2006, 12:59 PM
Noah,

From reading your "AAR", I can see you had a very busy weekend. As far as the other "stuff" (soldier syptoms and such), I'll post the rest when I get home.

"Doc" Nelson
09-01-2006, 04:57 PM
List of Civil War Medicines

The items in this list are taken from the contents of the U.S.Army Medicine Pannier. The numbers indicate the item's location in the pannier, to prevent mix-ups. Also listed are modern look-alikes for reenactors to put in their bottles and tins. Items are listed by Latin name, common name, amount in the pannier, (D) description, (A) action, and (L) look-alike.

1 Ceratum Cantharidis Cantharides (Spanish Fly)-3 Oz
D: Gray-Brown w/ green specks; A: Blistering agent; L: Mixture of baking soda, tea, charcoal, parsley flakes

2 Argenti Nitras Silver Nitrate-1 Oz
D: White Salt; A: Antispasmodic, stimulant; L: Rock Salt

3 Argenti Nitras Fusus Lunar Caustic-1 Oz
D: White or gray pencils; A: Stop minor bleeding; L: Styptic pencil

4 Iodinium Iodine-1 Oz
D: Blue-Black crystal; A: Corrosive, diuretic, mixed with alcohol makes tincture of iodine; L: Iodine crystals (available at chemical supply house)

5 Antimonii et Potassae tartras Tartar Emetic-1 Oz
D: Transparent, colorless crystal; A: Purgative, diuretic; L: Cream of Tartar

6 Hydrargyi Chloridum Mite Mild Mercurous Chloride (Calomel)-1 Oz
D: Light buff or ivory powder; A: purgative, anthelminthic; L: Translucent face powder

7 Extract of Beef Beef Extract-1 Lb
D: Brown powder or cubes; A: Nutritive in diarrhea, dysentery; L: Beef bullion cubes or powder

8 Extract of Coffee Coffee Extract-1 Lb
D: Brown paste; A: Stimulant; L: Instant coffee moistened with molasses

9 Condensed Milk Condensed Milk-1 Lbs
D: White paste; A: Nutritive in diarrhea, dysentery; L: Sweetened condensed milk (Borden's)

10 Black Tea Black Tea-4 Oz
D: Dark brown powder; A: Astringent, gentle excitant; L: Loose tea leaves

11 Spiritus Frumenti (Whiskey)-24 fluid oz
D: Brown liquid; A: Stimulant and depressant; L: Jack Daniels

12 Spiritus Aetheris Nitrici Spirit of Nitrous Ether-8 Fl Oz
D: Colorless or yellowish liquid; A: Diuretic, carminative; L: Ether (starting fluid) or yellowed alcohol

13 Alcohol Fortius Strong Alcohol-12 Fl Oz
A: Used to dissolve solid medications; L: Rubbing alcohol

14 Cough Mixture Cough Mixture-12 Fl Oz
D: Red, yellow, or clear syrup; A: Expectorant, antitussive; L: Cough Syrup (Robitussin)

15 White Sugar White Sugar-10 Oz
A: Nutrient, antiseptic, preservative; L: White Sugar

16 Chloroformum Purificatum Chloroform-12 Oz
D: Colorless liquid; A: Anesthetic by inhalation; L: Water with a touch of green color

17 Linimentum Simplex Liniment-12 Fl Oz
D: White syrupy liquid; A: Emollient; L: Watkins White Liniment, Corn Huskers Lotion

18 Syrupus Scillae Syrup of Squills-8 Fl Oz
D: Clear syrup; A: Expectorant, diuretic; L: Corn syrup

19 Aqua Ammoniae Spirits of Hartshorn-8 Fl Oz
D: Clear liquid; A: Stimulant; L: Household ammonia

20 Spiritus Aetheris Compositus Hoffman's Anodyne
D: Yellowish liquid; A: Stimulant and carminative-4 Fl Oz; L: Ether (starting fluid) or yellowed alcohol

21 Tincture Opii Laudanum-6 Fl Oz
D: Reddish-brown liquid; A: Pain relief, control of diarrhea; L: cola syrup with a dash of barak

22 Extractum Cinchonae Fluidum Fluid Extract of Cinchona (Peruvian bark)-4 Fl Oz
D: Reddish-yellow liquid; A: tonic, antimalarial, syphilis, rheumatism; L: Red colored alcohol

23 Extractum Valerianae Fluidum Fluid Extract of Valerian-6 Fl Oz
D: Yellowish-green liquid; A: Sedative; L: yellow-green colored alcohol

24 Extractum Zingiberis Fluidum Fluid Extract of Ginger-6 Fl Oz
D: Amber Liquid; A: stimulant, colic, dyspepsia; L: ginger ale or brandy

25 Oleum Olivae Olive Oil-6 Fl Oz
D: pale yellow oil; A: mild laxative, emollient for skin disease; L: Olive Oil

26 Oleum Terebinthinae Oil of Turpentine-6 Fl Oz
D: Colorless liquid; A: stimulant, diuretic; L: Turpentine

27 Glycerina Glycerine-6 Fl Oz
D: Straw color syrup; A: Antiseptic, emollient; L: Glycerine

28 Tincture Opii Camphorata Paregoric Elixir-6 Fl Oz
D: Brownish-green liquid; A: antispasmodic, diarrhea, nausea; L: Campho-phenique mixed with vanilla

29 Liquor Ferri Persulphatus Ferric Sulphate-Green Vitriol-4 Fl Oz
D: Blue-green liquid; A: Tonic; L: Blue-green colored alcohol

30 Spiritus Ammoniae Aromaticus Aromatic Spirits of Ammonia-4 Fl Oz
D: Yellowish liquid; A: stimulant, antispasmodic; L: ammonia with iodine and Campho-phenique

31 Pilulae Catharticae Compositae Cathartic Pills-50 Doz
D: White solid; A: Cathartic; L: White pills

32 Pilulae Colocyntii et Ipecacuanha Ipecac Pills-50 Doz
D: White solid; A: appetite stimulant, expectorant, emetic; L: White pills

33 Pulvis Ipecacuanhae et Opii Dover's Powder in 5 gm pills-30 Doz
D: White solid; A: Diaphoretic, treat dysentery, diarrhea; L: Powdered milk (for the powder form)

34 Pilulae Quiniae Sulphatis Quinine Sulphate-40 Doz
D: yellow pills, 3 gram ea; A: tonic, malaria, fevers; L: brown sugar

35 Potassae Chloras Potassium Chlorate-4 Oz
D: White Salt; A: Refrigerant & diuretic; L: Rock Salt

36 Potassae Bicarbonas Potassium Bicarbonate-4 Oz
D: Transparent, colorless crystal; A: Antacid, dropsy, rheumatism; L: baking soda

37 Potassae Iodidum Potassium Iodide-4 Oz
D: opaque white/transparent crystal; A: expectorant, treatment of syphilis; L: baking soda w/ touch of red food color

38 Sodae et Potassae Tartras Rochelle Salt-4 Oz
D: Colorless, large crystal; A: purgative; L: Rock Salt

39 Liquor Morphiae Sulphatis Morphine solutition-4 Fl Oz
D: whitish liquid; A: anodyne, soporific; L: cloudy sugar water

40 Pilulae Camphora et Opii Camphor & Opium Pills-20 Doz
D: Reddish-green; A: tranquilize intestines, non-specific diarrhea; L: old fashioned licorice rolled as pills

41 Pilulae Hydrargyri Mercury Pills (Blue Mass)-40 Doz
D: blue pill; A: laxative in small dose, cathartic in large dose; L: light wedding cake dressings, spritzed with light blue food coloring.

42 Pilulae Opii Opium Pills-60 Doz
D: dark brown; A: sedative, pain relief; L: whole allspice

43 Acidum Tannicum Tannic Acid-1/2 Oz
D: white/yellowish powder; A: Vegetable astringent; L: Lemonade mix

44 Alumen Alum-3 Oz
D: White powder; A: diarrhea, astringent, whooping cough; L: Alum

45 Collodium Maynard's Adhesive Liquid-3 Fl Oz
D: transparent syrup; A: Dressings, skin ulcers; L: Tincture of benzoin

46 Creasotum Creasote-2 Fl Oz
D: oleaginous yellowish liquid; A: wounds, ulcers, consumption, diabetes; L: Lysol cleaner (be careful!)

47 Extractum Aconiti Radicis Fluidum Extract of Aconite Root-3 Fl Oz
D: yellowish-brown liquid Rheumatism, gout, scrofula, syphilis, cancer; L: vanilla extract with yellow food color

48 Extractum Colchici Seminis Fluidum Extract of Colchicine-3 Fl Oz
D: Reddish-brown liquid; A: sedative, pain relief, gout; L: vanilla extract with red food color

49 Extractum Ipecacuanhae Fluidum Extract of Ipecac
D: Yellowish liquid-3 Fl Oz; A: emetic, expectorant; L: Ipecac syrup

50 Tinctura Ferri Chloridi Tincture of Ferric Chloride-2 Fl Oz
D: Brown liquid; A: tonic & diuretic; L: vanilla extract

51 Plumbi Acetas Lead Acetate Sugar of Lead-3 Oz
D: White crystal; A: astringent & sedative; L: Coarse white sugar

52 Zinci Sulphas Zinc Sulphate-3 Oz
D: colorless, transparent salt; A: tonic, astringent, emetic

"Doc" Nelson
09-01-2006, 05:06 PM
Trauma and medical emergency "simulations" using wound moulages and makeup are the most effective "hands-on" experiential learning scenarios that Scouts can have, and will challenge their decision making and judgment abilities to deal with simulated life threatening emergencies. Studies have shown that retention of skills and knowledge
learned through simulations is higher than any other form of education for such training.

Most of all the youth really enjoy simulations and will want to create their own scenarios using the makeup techniques. After such experiences, it is highly likely that they will be far better prepared to deal with real life safety emergencies if they have participated in well designed and realistic practical simulations of trauma and
medical scenarios. Here are some methods and techniques for creating such scenarios.

Theatrical "Blood"
Our "Formulas" for Simulated Blood:
A. Thicker Theatrical Type Blood (Stays in Place on Extremities, Clothing)
1 bottle Karo corn syrup
2 bottles red food coloring
1 or 2 drops of blue food coloring
(mix well)
A small amount of chocolate syrup can also be added to provide a more translucent appearance for the Karo Syrup.
(Note: empty out some of the corn syrup before adding the food coloring and chocolate syrup to allow for proper \ mixing in the original container to avoid "overflow.")

B. Flowing Simulated Blood
(Works Well in Blood Pumps for Moulages and "Coagulates" When it Dries)
1 bottle Sta-Flo liquid starch
2 bottles red food coloring
1 or 2 drops of blue food coloring
(mix well)
A little chocolate syrup also works in this mix for realism as well.

Blood Pumps
If you have a local hospital supply contact, try to get some IV blood pumps and 1000 ml bags of normal saline. Empty the saline from the bag and then use a large 60 cc syringe to load and fill the bag with your "sta-flo starch" theatrical blood mix. Hook up the blood pump to the bag and route the end of the tubing into your simulated wound.

The pump can be held in the palm of the "victim" and the tubing routed inside their shirt from the bag to the "wound." Tape tubing and the bag in place as needed for the scenario. You can pump the blood through the tubing and into simulated wounds to create the appearance of "arterial" spurting blood. Very realistic and very scary for first aid students, but they remember what an "arterial bleeder" looks like and what to do for it!

Burns
1 bottle theatrical "Liquid Latex"
1 bottle glycerin
1 tube theatrical grease paint in black, red clothing to "char" or scorch with small torch

-paint on and smooth out liquid latex to a thin film on skin; allow to dry. Be sure "victims" don't have latex allergy before applying to skin

-when dry, with a finger, pinch or pull up spots on the film to simulate the appearance of 'broken' blisters and "loose" skin.

-for 3rd degree burns, take some small pieces of charred cotton fabric and glue them down with liquid latex near the burned area.

- You can also *carefully* char or "scorch" the portion of the garment(s) that the victim will be wearing for the practical exercise. Scorch or burn the clothing (shirt or pants) that will be nearest the burned area with a small propane torch, then extinguish the flame with water and let it dry.

-apply thin layer of red grease paint inside "blister" area and around burned area to simulate "reddening" of skin due to thermal injury.

-apply some thin black for effect to simulate charred skin or clothing for third degree burns. Alternatively, use a thin layer of white clown makeup/grease paint and apply over liquid latex to simulate third degree burn, surrounded by reddened and blistered second degree burns

-apply glycerin inside "blister" and allow it to run out on the extremity to simulate oozing lymphatic fluid.

Scar Wax
Theatrical "scar wax" can be used to mold simulated open wounds. Work it like modeling clay until it is warm and pliable, then apply to skin. Use a blunt table knife to create the "open wound" or laceration. If you are using a blood pump (see below) insert the clear plastic tubing into the simulated wax wound. Color the inside of the "wound" with dark red grease paint for "subcutaneous tissue" appearances.

If you are using commercial moulages or theatrical moulage wax, to simulate lacerations, fractures, etc., also use some neutral pancake or liquid skin-colored makeup to blend edges into normal skin for realism. Attach small moulages with "spirit gum" or surgical adhesive used for prosthetic devices.

Internal Bleeding
To simulate blunt trauma to the chest or abdomen, create "bruising" by using dark red and blue mix (to make purple discoloration) grease paint and create a "site" injury (e.g. a steering wheel impression on the chest, or for abdominal trauma from an impact with a blunt object, create a large bruised area on the abdomen. Have the victim simulate
rigidity and severe pain of the abdomen to indicate internal bleeding. A classic sign of a ruptured spleen with abdominal bleeding and shock, is "referred pain" in the area of the collar bone, when there is no apparent injury to the collar bone (clavicle) which is sometimes missed by rescuers, but is a potentially life threatening condition.

Shock
Be sure to make your victims look "shocky" by applying a THIN film of clown white makeup or grease paint and blend in well, to give them a very pale effect. lips can be made to appear "cyanotic" by applying a THIN film of blue grease paint. Blend everything well so it doesn't appear to be artificial. Apply glycerin droplets with a small spray
bottle with a glycerin and water mix around the mouth and nose to simulate "diaphoresis" or perspiration due to shock.

Coaching "Injured Victim" Actors
For "inexperienced victims," with "traumatic injuries (e.g., fractures, internal injuries, lacerations) coach them to exhibit "pain" by moaning or occasionally gasping (be sure they don't hyperventilate by doing this too often or they will actually pass out). (e.g., Victims should respond to the rescuers attempting to help them, by moaning if the rescuer touches or moves an injured extremity).

Remember that very severely injured victims in shock are often very "quiet" so that is a good indicator of the severity of the injuries (possible internal and/or head). For medical (non-trauma) simulations (e.g. anaphylactic shock, diabetic hypoglycemia), altered mentation is often a good way to convey that the victim has a medical life threatening condition (victim acts intoxicated or irrational for hypoglycemia, or becomes lethargic and incoherent for anaphylaxis
(e.g., allergic reaction to a bee sting or food allergy such as peanuts).

Heart Attack
Have the victim complain of a dull "pressure" type pain in the area of the sternum ("it feels like someone is standing on my chest" is an accurate and classic response to a rescuer when assessing a possible heart attack with chest pain). Also simulate radiating pain to the upper arm, elbow, and jaw or back, combined with nausea. . Simulate "diaphoresis" or sweating around the mouth and forehead with glycerin and water mix applied with a small spray bottle. This often
accompanies a heart attack. Denial is a classic response of first time heart attack victims who may attribute the nausea and chest pain to "bad food."

Cleaning Up After The Exercise
Cleanup latex with cold cream or Vaseline or "goop" waterless hand cleaner rubbed into moulage, then wash off with soap and water.

Stains on clothing from food coloring used in burns can be cleaned up by soaking in cool water overnight, then laundering.

If stain persists, use a small amount of chlorine bleach to remove the pink stain. Wear old clothes that you don't mind getting messed up for these practicals.

hanktrent
09-01-2006, 06:02 PM
Items are listed by Latin name, common name, amount in the pannier, (D) description, (A) action, and (L) look-alike.

I assume many of these are meant for display only, and not for living history use.

In general, in medical reenacting, what safeguards are in place to prevent the accidental confusion of look-alikes for display that are unsafe to consume, with look-alikes meant to be given safely to any reenactor?

Like using a pistol for live fire and then taking it into a reenactment, it seems too easy to confuse real medicines or poisons with harmless ingredients, especially if several reenactors are pooling their items or taking turns doing presentations. Will everyone really remember what can be used and what can't?

Not good for a patient to show up with a fake ailment and be expecting fake medicine, and be given real ipecac or real ether or rubbing alcohol to swallow.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net


4 Iodinium Iodine-1 Oz
D: Blue-Black crystal; A: Corrosive, diuretic, mixed with alcohol makes tincture of iodine; L: Iodine crystals (available at chemical supply house)

12 Spiritus Aetheris Nitrici Spirit of Nitrous Ether-8 Fl Oz
D: Colorless or yellowish liquid; A: Diuretic, carminative; L: Ether (starting fluid) or yellowed alcohol

13 Alcohol Fortius Strong Alcohol-12 Fl Oz
A: Used to dissolve solid medications; L: Rubbing alcohol

14 Cough Mixture Cough Mixture-12 Fl Oz
D: Red, yellow, or clear syrup; A: Expectorant, antitussive; L: Cough Syrup (Robitussin)

19 Aqua Ammoniae Spirits of Hartshorn-8 Fl Oz
D: Clear liquid; A: Stimulant; L: Household ammonia

20 Spiritus Aetheris Compositus Hoffman's Anodyne
D: Yellowish liquid; A: Stimulant and carminative-4 Fl Oz; L: Ether (starting fluid) or yellowed alcohol

26 Oleum Terebinthinae Oil of Turpentine-6 Fl Oz
D: Colorless liquid; A: stimulant, diuretic; L: Turpentine

28 Tincture Opii Camphorata Paregoric Elixir-6 Fl Oz
D: Brownish-green liquid; A: antispasmodic, diarrhea, nausea; L: Campho-phenique mixed with vanilla

30 Spiritus Ammoniae Aromaticus Aromatic Spirits of Ammonia-4 Fl Oz
D: Yellowish liquid; A: stimulant, antispasmodic; L: ammonia with iodine and Campho-phenique

44 Alumen Alum-3 Oz
D: White powder; A: diarrhea, astringent, whooping cough; L: Alum

46 Creasotum Creasote-2 Fl Oz
D: oleaginous yellowish liquid; A: wounds, ulcers, consumption, diabetes; L: Lysol cleaner (be careful!)

49 Extractum Ipecacuanhae Fluidum Extract of Ipecac
D: Yellowish liquid-3 Fl Oz; A: emetic, expectorant; L: Ipecac syrup

TimKindred
09-01-2006, 07:00 PM
Comrades,

Hank, that's a darned good point. I go to great lengths to ensure the neutrality of the items I carry with me, not only because i am concerned with reenactors, etc, but i don;t want some kid stealing some bottle from me and trying it out for kicks, and ending up sick or worse for the experience.

I use items like powdered sugar, powdered instant coffee (gotta love the period mortar and pestle) cinnamon, all spice, baking soda, simple syrup, etc. with added food colorings and flavouring oils to create inert but realistic copies of actual meds. I would challenge anyone to a comparison testing of my fakes against the real item, regarding consitancy, color, aroma and flavour.

As far as the hobby goes, it's caveat emptor. Mostly, i view it from a litiginous viewpoint. I work hard, and then some, to temper my displays and talks with the idea that someone might steal something, hurt themselves and/or another, and try and sue me. I document my work and recipes, etc, with that in mind and go from there.

Doc, I still refuse to use fake blood, bloody aprons, and many moulages in my displays. the operating area was kept seperate from the patient recovery area, and rarely visible to passing soldiers, etc, for morale reasons. it was bad enough what went on there, but there was no use in exposing everyone else to it. My prsentations center around minor wounds, disease, and initial triage prior to shipping off to the Division Hospital area.

My concerns are two-fold. First, it's hard to do it right qith out appearing hokey and Hollywoodish. Yeah, trauma surgery is messy. there's no getting around that, and yes, it was a very real part of war (and still is). But Hollywood and less than scrupulous writers have bent things out of all concern regarding the hospital, and it will take a long time to undo that damge.

Second, there's a real war going on, and I don't need to remind anyone about what those costs entail. I simply refuse to immerse myself in fake blood and secinbd-rate moulage and hollywoood chicanery to appease some sicko's sense of theatre.

I'll leave it at that for now, but i will add this, i suppose: The Medical aspect of the hobby has a d*mned long way to go to catch up to the rest of the impressions. It's suffered for many years from both complacency and a lack of actual interpretation based upon facts. Hopefully that will be changing, but it will take time.

Respects,

"Doc" Nelson
09-01-2006, 09:03 PM
I use items like powdered sugar, powdered instant coffee (gotta love the period mortar and pestle) cinnamon, all spice, baking soda, simple syrup, etc. with added food colorings and flavouring oils to create inert but realistic copies of actual meds. I would challenge anyone to a comparison testing of my fakes against the real item, regarding consitancy, color, aroma and flavour.
This is one HUGE reason I was hoping for a Thread/Folder or something where those of us that portray Medical Officers and Staff, could share ideas and such. I welcome any and all suggestions, comments, ideas and the like. If there are better ways that myself, or anyone else could use, by all means let us know.


I assume many of these are meant for display only, and not for living history use.

Yes, they are. I only use items that can be consumed. I will never have anything on display, nor use any “simulated” medicine that could not be safely consumed. I guess this is something that we, as individuals, would have to be disciplined to do.


Doc, I still refuse to use fake blood, bloody aprons, and many moulages in my displays. the operating area was kept seperate from the patient recovery area, and rarely visible to passing soldiers, etc, for morale reasons. it was bad enough what went on there, but there was no use in exposing everyone else to it. My prsentations center around minor wounds, disease, and initial triage prior to shipping off to the Division Hospital area.
My impression is based on that of an Assistant Surgeon of the Regiment. So, personally, I don't "do" the fake blood and such. I know that there are quite a few that do. My presentations have only been, pretty much on the field (as an Assistant Surgeon would have done his work, if you will, for lack of a better description), during Living Histories. What I focus on is, setting up a forward aid station, or as it's sometimes called, a "Field Dressing Station", and triage the wounded. And, I have also do a few "speeches" on Civil War Medicine and Surgeons. I travel lightly. I only use what I can carry, which is an "Ed Archer Pocket Surgeon's Kit", "Roll-Up Kit", some bandages, a small medicine case that holds 10 medicine bottles (I alternate the types of medicines, but mainly the common ones are what I use the most of). As stated above, I only use ingredients that can be consumed, safely. I am also looking to "pickup" a stethoscope, here in the near future.

I welcome any and/or suggestions, ideas and such. I would rather "hear" it from those that are 'veterans' and have experience, then to "go it alone". This is the main reason I was hoping for a thread like this.

Thanks for all of your ideas and such. And, please, by all means, feel free to reply, email or whatever you'd like to do. Again, thank you.

celtfiddler
09-01-2006, 09:34 PM
I welcome any and/or suggestions, ideas and such. I would rather "hear" it from those that are 'veterans' and have experience, then to "go it alone". This is the main reason I was hoping for a thread like this.


You might want to try and meet up with Trevor Steinbach if he makes it to Perryville. I worked with him for quite a while as one of his nurses. He's the medical director for the 1st Federal Division. If you're not already a member, you also might want to consider joining the Society of Civil War Surgeons (which reminds me, hubby and I need to renew our membership).

Thanks for the tips on stage blood. I had to mix up a batch in a hurry today for DH. Wasn't about to spend the cash for the top quality stuff since I wasn't going with him to the event to do moulage for him.

Regarding using latex--try experimenting with gelatin

http://www.makeup-fx.com/gelatine.html
http://www.makeup-fx.com/gelatinefoam.html

I haven't had the chance to experiment with it yet--some things can be a bit difficult to find in my neck of the woods. I'm doubting I'll be able to locate glycerin or sorbitol here.

celtfiddler
09-01-2006, 09:51 PM
44 Alumen Alum-3 Oz
D: White powder; A: diarrhea, astringent, whooping cough; L: Alum


I've never seen alum, but I wonder if cornstarch or baking powder might pass in it's place. Both are relatively cheap and harmless.

hanktrent
09-01-2006, 10:05 PM
There are so many ways to integrate medical roles into reenacting, maybe it would help to look at some of the different visions for what's expected of medical staff. Here are some types that I've noticed:

--Living history display with lectures to the public, maybe a brief demonstration after the battle or at specific times. Main goal is to offer displays and talk to the public about historic medicine in a general sense; after hours is free time. This fits in well with mainstream events and EBUFU public-interpretation living histories, and was about all I could find when I was into military medical roles in the 1990s.

--Functional living history role, acting as a period doctor throughout the event, performing duties in real time, adapted to the specific situation being reenacted. May include interpretation to the public or not. This is harder to fit into an event, due to lack of willing patients and more strain on the logistics of organizers who are already stretching things thin. I've seen this done at Payne's Farm (non-public), at Burkittsville 2001 (public), and I could picture it fitting into events like Immortal 600. But where it doesn't fit, one common compromise is...

--Modern medical care. Main goal is to be there for reenactors with modern health problems. At mainstream events, doctors carry modern first aid kits and women act as ice angels and the medical tent is the modern first aid station. Medical participants interested in historic medicine only are strongly discouraged or not allowed. At campaign events, doctors carry modern items and treat real-life sore feet or similar health problems not bad enough to require dropping out but not able to be treated with period methods. This was the other only option I could find back in the day.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

"Doc" Nelson
09-01-2006, 10:34 PM
You might want to try and meet up with Trevor Steinbach if he makes it to Perryville.
Kimberly,
I have been talking with Trevor about Perryville. My "role" for Perryville will be that of the Indiana Brigade's Surgeon. So, hopefully, I'll have an opportunity to get together with Trevor. I know I'll be pretty busy, but Trevor hopes that I can "break away" at some point to be able to 'hang out' at Division HQ for a bit.


Thanks for the tips on stage blood.
Well, no problem, as far as the suggestions I had posted about symptoms, medicines & substitutes and moulages. These were from another colleague. He asked if I would post them here, because he accidently deleted them from his saved file. Thanks.

TimKindred
09-02-2006, 08:58 AM
Comrade Trent,

Actually, it's quite possible to support some basic first-aid and medical needs during a campaign event using period materials coupled with modern knowledge about infection.

Blisters can easily be treated by sponging the area affected with alcohol, then applying a small felt patch soaked in sweet oil and bound with a small muslin roller bandage. I usually have a couple of vials of both rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide solution for just such emergencies.

Slivers thorns and ticks can also be treated, and a heavy paste of baking soda made with water or peroxide works well to relieve itching and stings from bug bites, etc. Baking soda in solution with water, and also peppermint oil in solution is an excellent quieter of a disagreeable stomach.

There's also many period things to do during the day, such as issuing quinnine to all the men, and seeing that they rake it; examining the rations and water suplplies, etc, not to mention keeping an eye on the men during the march, filling out the appropriate forms for stragglers due to medical necesity, etc.



Respects,

celtfiddler
09-02-2006, 09:02 AM
Brian and Kim Schwatka say hi!

Hopefully you'll be able to break away. He's usually very generous about breaking out some fine quality spirits when visitors drop by his tent for medical discussions.

"Doc" Nelson
09-02-2006, 10:21 AM
Actually, it's quite possible to support some basic first-aid and medical needs during a campaign event using period materials coupled with modern knowledge about infection.
Something I do now is, carry some "modern" first aid supplies (i.e. bandages, cold packs, trauma pads, gauze, antibiotic ointments, cold/hot compresses and such). But these stay 'hidden' from the public's eye (I even keep them hidden from reenactors). I figured, if I'm going to be out there, I might as well as put to use, my 'emergency medical training' that I received from the Fire Department. As you all know, there will be someone that is going to be injured, to some degree or another (whether it’s something minor or a major medical emergency). At least there will be someone out there that could do something, quickly, while awaiting ‘modern’ medical personnel. And, I agree with Tim, you can apply ‘modern day’ medical techniques, while using ‘period’ equipment. That’s the cool thing about having ‘modern day’ medical training, allot of it is about the same as ‘period’, with some obvious modifications, of course. Considering, Civil War Medicine was the ‘forbearer’ of battlefield medicine the way we know and see it today. And, allot of what we use in the Fire Department is what individuals are trained for, in battlefield medicine. We basically triage and stabilize patients and transport them to hospitals and care facilities. Now, I don’t encourage anyone to go out and buy emergency/trauma first aid kits if they aren’t medically trained to use them. But there are some basic kits that you can use for your home, camping, your car, etc. that you can carry with you. It’s totally up to you.

And, remember, the more you carry, the 'heavier' it will be. You definitely don’t want to ‘overload’ yourself with things that you won’t probably use. So, take some basic things (i.e. bandages, ointments and such). And, as always, have fun. If you use your ‘period’ equipment, it adds to your impression. Thanks for your time.

"Doc" Nelson
09-02-2006, 10:28 AM
Brian and Kim Schwatka say hi!
I will do so. I will probably see Trevor, Friday afternoon. I’m going down Friday morning. So, I will see him at Division HQ. And I will tell him for you guys.


Hopefully you'll be able to break away. He's usually very generous about breaking out some fine quality spirits when visitors drop by his tent for medical discussions.
I will have a chance to meet up with him on Friday. I’m not too sure how my day will go, on Saturday or Sunday. As of right now, I’m the only medical ‘person’ coming from the Indiana Brigade, so I will be remaining with the Brigade for the most part. I'm hoping that, in between battles, I would be able to 'visit' with him. But, I guess, we'll see what the day brings, once I get there ;)

Are you guys not coming to Perryville?

hanktrent
09-02-2006, 10:50 AM
Actually, it's quite possible to support some basic first-aid and medical needs during a campaign event using period materials coupled with modern knowledge about infection.

The whole concept of integrating a dual role--modern health care vs. a period role--is something I have mixed feelings about. Yes, I believe a period doctor should be functional, but when taking responsibility for others' real health, there are complex issues.

For example, triage. A man falls out with a blister at the same time a skirmisher comes back grazed by a bullet. Who gets care first? If you're primarily portraying a period doctor, the bullet guy. If you're primarily a modern medic, the blister guy.

If you're portraying a period doctor, is the blister guy going to be okay with the fact that he's there seeking care for a real problem, and you're ignoring him and making him hobble a bit further on his real injury while you "play pretend" with the bullet wound? And even worse for battle-related injuries--it might be hours before you get to splinters and twisted ankles, with men hemorrhaging all around.

Another example: A guy shows up feeling lightheaded and nauseous. If medical reenactors are designated as the first contact when real health issues arise, is it the responsibility of the patient or the doctor to suggest further real medical care?

If the responsibility is the doctor's, then he is the gate keeper for the real EMTs, and is in a full modern medical role, even if he's not doing the modern care himself. So he's going to need the knowledge to do a complete modern assessment: does the guy just need to sit in the shade and get cooled off (period treatment), or is he diabetic? does he have his diabetic medicine with him? History of heart problems? On heart medication? etc. And of course the same judgment would be expected for any injury/illness--period-style field treatment or send him off for stitches? X-ray? tetanus shot?

If that's the case, a reenactor with good modern knowledge and low period knowledge is "better" for the event than someone with good period knowledge but low modern knowledge--the only living history role I can think of where that's true.


There's also many period things to do during the day, such as issuing quinnine to all the men, and seeing that they rake it; examining the rations and water suplplies, etc, not to mention keeping an eye on the men during the march, filling out the appropriate forms for stragglers due to medical necesity, etc.


Definitely. The more accurately the overall situation is recreated, the easier it is for the medical personnel to just do what they would have done. But that does mean there need to be rations issued, water supplies able to be examined (even if the real water is coming from the hidden water buffalo beside the stagnant stream), a march long enough that stragglers could occur, etc.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

celtfiddler
09-02-2006, 03:54 PM
Are you guys not coming to Perryville?

Unfortunately no. My husband Brian's in the Navy and we're due to be moving again when his orders come through. Funds and the current operations tempo make it impossible to attend.

NoahBriggs
09-04-2006, 08:59 AM
To avoid problems I ask all patients if they have allergies BEFORE we do anything. Also, my bottles are clor coded - any bottles with the real thing have white labels, anything with simulated medicines or stuff which would be dangerous or lethal I use tan labels.

--------------------------------------------------

I assume many of these are meant for display only, and not for living history use.

In general, in medical reenacting, what safeguards are in place to prevent the accidental confusion of look-alikes for display that are unsafe to consume, with look-alikes meant to be given safely to any reenactor?

Like using a pistol for live fire and then taking it into a reenactment, it seems too easy to confuse real medicines or poisons with harmless ingredients, especially if several reenactors are pooling their items or taking turns doing presentations. Will everyone really remember what can be used and what can't?

Not good for a patient to show up with a fake ailment and be expecting fake medicine, and be given real ipecac or real ether or rubbing alcohol to swallow.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

celtfiddler
09-04-2006, 09:50 AM
In general, in medical reenacting, what safeguards are in place to prevent the accidental confusion of look-alikes for display that are unsafe to consume, with look-alikes meant to be given safely to any reenactor?


Dear husband and I try to avoid using anything that can't safely be consumed when stocking his medicines. So far everything in his medicine inventory has come from my kitchen supplies at home.

NoahBriggs
09-04-2006, 09:56 AM
For alum powder you can use the real thing found on the spice rack at your market.

"Doc" Nelson
09-04-2006, 10:18 AM
In general, in medical reenacting, what safeguards are in place to prevent the accidental confusion of look-alikes for display that are unsafe to consume, with look-alikes meant to be given safely to any reenactor?

The way I see it is, this is where we, as individuals that are "portraying" Medical Staff, must be disciplined. We have to make sure there are safeguards, in place, to ensure this doesn't happen. Whether you place different labels, as Noah stated. Or, simply don't use anything that's not safe to consume, such as Kimberly or myself. Our safeguards, personally I feel, are pretty much the same as clearying a rifle after a battle. You don't want to come back into camp and allow a spectator to handle a rifle that hasn't been cleared. Every Living Historian (reenactor) must, always, be on the alert to safeguard against unsafe situations or conditions from happening. This is part of the hobby. We're all responsible adults. Now, I'm not saying that unsafe conditions don't exist nor happen. We all need to make sure that each other are "playing it safe".

"Doc" Nelson
09-04-2006, 10:31 AM
To avoid problems I ask all patients if they have allergies BEFORE we do anything.
We, in our unit, have "Medical Release Forms", as I believe pretty much all units have. On these forms, there are "spaces" provided for you to list any medical conditions that you may have. These forms are kept on your person during events, in case you "go down". These forms provide medical information about you, for "modern-day medical personnel" to have an idea of what they may be dealing with. And, I agree with Noah, even during the War, Doctors asked questions about the individual’s health and/or ailments. So, why shouldn’t we? Before we conduct any “simulated” procedure or give a demonstration, just ask if they are allergic to anything that you are using or if they have a medical condition that we need to be aware of (actually, you need to do this before the demonstration, but you can ask again, in front of spectators, after you have “OK’d” the patient).

"Doc" Nelson
09-04-2006, 06:43 PM
I am posting a link that is of a photo of Dr. Jonathan Letterman, Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac and Staff - Warrenton, VA, November 1862. And in the photo there is a flag, of a dark color. I'm guessing it's red. I can't really tell of any other markings on the flag. Did the US Medical Department use "red flags" to designate medical personnel?

http://www.civilwarphotos.net/files/images/379.jpg

NoahBriggs
09-04-2006, 07:01 PM
It's possible it's yellow, since yellow photographs real dark grey or black in pictures of the period.

Spinster
09-04-2006, 07:09 PM
I'm with Noah on this one--my best example being my yellow sided wagon used by the Sisters of Charity at the 2001 Perryville.

In real life---whanging yellow--in both tintype and glass plate, dark steel gray.

hanktrent
09-04-2006, 07:26 PM
Did the US Medical Department use "red flags" to designate medical personnel?

Yes. From the Revised United States Army regulations of 1861, with an appendix containing the changed and laws affecting Army regulations and Articles of war to June 25, 1863:

"The ambulance depot, to which the wounded are carried or directed for immediate treatment, is generally established at the most convenient building nearest the field of battle. A red flag marks its place, or the way to it, to the conductors of the ambulances and to the wounded who can walk."

A red flag also had a Sanitary Commission connection:

"As you neared the landing, coming up the James, you saw, a little farther up the river, the red flag of the Sanitary Commission floating over the three barges which were its office, its storehouse, and its distributing store for the whole Army of the Potomac." (From A Fortnight with the Sanitary, by G. Reynolds, 1865)

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

TimKindred
09-04-2006, 09:16 PM
Comrades,

Yes indeed. As Hank says, red was used, especially early on, and by both sides. It wasn't until later in the war that the yellow flag became more standard, and still later when the Federal Armies added the green letter "H" and, depending upon the use, a green border as well. I'll see if I can dig out the effective dates for the various styles by tomorrow.

The CS Army still continued to use red for the armbands marking it's own ambulance corps/litter bearers, but that documentation can only be confirmed in the ANV. How prevelant it was in other areas of the Confederacy is open to speculation, since extant records regarding all of the CS Medical groups have gaps.

Respects,

"Doc" Nelson
09-04-2006, 09:30 PM
Tim, here is one link I have, with some dates. I don't know how accurate it is. I'm still researching it. Thanks.

http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us%5Ehosp.html

NoahBriggs
09-07-2006, 09:37 AM
So, mods, any word on possibly giving the medical geeks their own folder? :-D

"Doc" Nelson
09-07-2006, 10:40 AM
I second that "motion", Noah.

Jim12LA
09-07-2006, 12:47 PM
Our Infantry unit has the unique position of having a Surgeon who is a real life M.D. although he doesn't bring his office to reenactments. He still has the knowledge base to evaluate real emergencies. He also has a very knowledgeable supporting cast as follows: Company Commander--Respiratory Therapist. First Sergeant--Registered Nurse/Anesthisist (spelling might be wrong), Second Sergeant--EMT-Basic, First Corporal--Paramedic....So as you can see, if called upon our unit could set up it's own M.A.S.H. unit in a pinch as everybody has special skills and usually the equipment located nearby at any event we attend. Yes, it is difficult to properly assess and treat someone with limited equipment, but we can provide first response to any real medical emergencies. Also, if need be our surgeon can treat the simulated bullet wound, while one of the others assesses the real emergency. We also always introduce ourselves to the on duty medical teams at an event and let them know our level of training. I think that setting up a folder for medical reenactors would be a very good idea as they have an impression that would add tremendously to a reenactment if done correctly.

Jim Lancaster,
NREMT-Paramedic/Firefighter
12thLA Inf., TMVI

NoahBriggs
09-07-2006, 02:38 PM
. . . while the mods ponder our first.

How to win patients and make friends?

It's difficult to phrase, but in order for the medical to do their "jobs" of working with the other groups we sometimes need patients upon whom to work. When we ask for voulnteers, we often get the kids (who like being made up so they can gross out their friends) or we get last-minute additions who sometimes detract from the display (at least this is stereotypically so in some of the mainstream events I have been to; please remember no two events are alike and the milage will vary).

A lot of reenactors seem reluctant to approach the historic medical, and strangely enough, it's for the same reasons as the nineteenth century -fear and trepidation towards a weird, black art filled with Latin, funky potions and wicked instruments which makes you wonder if we worked in those recently declassified CIA detention centers worldwide. Some of them can get confused also as to whether or not we offer real medical services until the paramedics arrive. To a certain degree I can appreciate letting people know that you are qualified in real life. But I feel that the historic medical and the modern medical should be two separate things.

One of the ways I am trying to counter the trepidation is to set up this folder- a place where anyone can ask about medical procedures, medicines, instruments, both civilian and military. Hence the list of soldier symptoms. Reproduce to your heart's content and incorporate it into your impression. Yes, the public will still ask about the gruesomeness of amputations, but your friend might ask the treatment for kidney stones. What's the modern treatment for pneumonia, as opposed to the old treatment? What's the difference between sthenic diseases and asthenic diseases?

My experience to scrounge volunteers I will troll the camps early on in the day. I approach whoever is in charge, introduce myself and explain that my hospital will need a few patients upon which to perform after whatever XYZ battle. I am careful to explain what type of person I need, what sort of illness/injury we are representing and ask the head honcho who he thinks would be willing AND fit my criteria.

I then meet with the prospectives. I explain what I am doing and ask if they are game. I usually drop a speech along the lines of "we aim to show accurate wounds/illness and we are not looking for drama monarchs." Usually at that point I get a few volunteers. I take names and ask they report to the hospital area at least two hours before the powderfest, which allows me to make them up properly. As I make them up, I explain what kind of injury I am simulating and how to behave after being wounded. I then explain what we will do to triage them. I tell them what kinds of meds we will use, and how to react to them properly. Right at this time I also ask if they have allergies to anything.

I suggest to any buddies, hangers-on and rubberneckers unfortunate enough to be nearby how to act regarding near misses, spent rounds, shock, trowser-pissing fear and so on. Why not spread the wealth of information?

If you blast powder, they will come. And believe you me, the results are fantastic. The empowered patients do their thing, and it adds to the ambiance. A lot of them are grateful that we make an effort to do this. They incoroprate what we mention into their impressions.

Not surprisingly there will be some drama monarchs and kids who hope to join in after the battle. These are the screamers and the guys with the old, pink bandages, and the mythological "drunken Irish malingerers". I believe I mentioned in an earlier post that I would "triage" them to one side and leave them out of the picture. In "my" hospital, nobody gets "treated" without having their "condition" cleared through me or my staff first, because we want accurate medical problems.

So-

I told you how I troll for volunteers for patients. What do you do? :cool:

hanktrent
09-07-2006, 03:50 PM
For what it's worth, two of the more common reasons that soldiers expressed a reluctance in volunteering as patients at the Burkittsville '01 hospital were:

--not wanting the risk of fake blood stains on their uniforms

--not wanting to be coerced into being given alcohol, either for religious reasons, reaction with medication, or whatever

We solved the first by providing bandages stained with dry paint, which worked in a dim candle-light setting, and the second by not having any alcohol in fake medicines.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

TimKindred
09-07-2006, 04:40 PM
Comrades,

My own suggesting for obtaining casualties is to recruit them ahead of time. I think that recruiting all the casualties for the weekend from one single unit would help out everyone concerned.

By utilizing all your casualties from a single source, it lets you and they develop all the scenarios ahead of time so that all concerned will know what's going on. It also allows you to anticipate who is going to be involved, and to shoe off those who are "not on the list".... as it were.

Transportation issues, equipment issues, etc, are all lessened as well, since those folks know that only their own equipment will be taken in by the clerk, and they won't have to worry about stuff getting mixed up or lost.

One other advantage is that certain uniform aspects can be developed way ahead of time... torn or rent garments with appropriate stains, etc, can be used to enhance the appearance of the tableau.

At a more mainstream event, it would also allow the "casualties" to be in character during the day, and then to be able to socialise after hours... at a campaign style of event, you'll be able to drawn on the more thespian casualty types and allow then to develop a character and work within the event itself to add further realism.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts and probably not overly doable. However, if there was a small unit of 10-12 fellows that would like to be "casualties" for a weekend, to try out something different and challenging, then this might be just the ticket for them.

Respects,

Bill_Cross
09-07-2006, 05:27 PM
.... not wanting to be coerced into being given alcohol, either for religious reasons, reaction with medication, or whatever.
Boy, Hank, did you ever ask the WRONG folks! If I'd thought there'd a been alcohol in the meds....

Nothing like a little lemon syrup to cure the cough.

Jim of the SRR
09-07-2006, 08:39 PM
The Autobiography of Silas Thompson Trowbridge M.D. from Southern Illinois University Press is a great account from the surgeon of the 8th Illinois Infantry.

Regards,
Jim Butler

tompritchett
09-07-2006, 11:12 PM
The idea of adding additional folders came up earlier on the moderators' forum due to a different idea. Basically, it came down that adding speciality folders might dilute the readership of the other forums as people would be less likely to check as many folders. I am not saying that I agree or disagree with that logic but maybe it is a subject for discussion in a new thread by itself. Issues that could be addressed might be 1) speciality topics that might be appropriate, 2) whether such speciality folders would lessen the value of the general discussion folders, and 3) whether the number of folders would ultimately reduce readership in the existing folders, 4) any others that someone else can think of. Again, I think that this discussion would warrant its own thread rather than be lost in the middle of this one.

"Doc" Nelson
09-08-2006, 07:00 AM
Tom,
I totally understand what you are saying. There are a couple of things, I feel, that I could make an attempt to justify, if you will (for lack of a better term):

2) whether such speciality folders would lessen the value of the general discussion folders
I don't really think it would. I know that I, myself (I can't speak for others), read through the other threads, under the "Discussion Folders". There is going to be information on "other" items that might be of use to me, or anyone else, for that matter.


3) whether the number of folders would ultimately reduce readership in the existing folders
Here, again, I don't really think it would. I mean, let's look at the "Forum", there are quite a few different folders now. I think it would lessen the search, a bit, if someone were to look for something on the 'medical aspect' of reenacting.


Again, I think that this discussion would warrant its own thread rather than be lost in the middle of this one.
I think that "specialty" folders would be a great and interesting addition. Not just for the Medical Department, but, Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, and whatever else is out there. As you stated, instead of having an individual 'post' lost within the realm of a "General Discussion Folder", why not have a specific folder that it could be placed within?

Thank you for your time.

tompritchett
09-08-2006, 10:42 AM
I have brought your request to the attention of the other moderators in our forum.

NoahBriggs
09-08-2006, 10:47 AM
Thank you, Mr. Prichett!

"Doc" Nelson
09-08-2006, 12:12 PM
Thank you Tom.

Provost
09-08-2006, 07:57 PM
In general, drop me a note when you want me to know something. I can't begin to read all the traffic on here each day. I appreciate Tom bringing this thread to my attention.

The previous forum suggestion was for a "research forum" and I felt that would probably segregate out something that belongs in every forum. I believe it should permeate our hobby, not be a separate activity. This "medical forum" idea seems like a different issue to me. Not every reenactor or living historian will be participating in this all the time, therefore it's more of a specialty interest and more likely to draw it's own audience rather the divide an existing one.

Please give me your thoughts on a couple questions:

1) Should it be a separate conference, on the par with the Military and Civilian and Other Business? Or should it fall under one of those headings? I could see it going either way.

2) Is there a volunteer willing to act as the moderator for that area? They'd be responsible for bringing major problems to my attention and generally function as Tom and Sgt. Pepper and the Civilian Moderator do now.

3) Would you be willing for me to move this thread to that new forum so you can build off of it's discussions?

4) Do you think we should have a conference for "branches of service" with forums for Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry, Medical, Naval, etc? Or would each branch deserve their own conference in your view?

This does run the risk of making so many branches to the tree that our members might get lost, but I see a great degree of interest here and would be willing to run that risk. Your knowledge, depth of research and commitment to sharing that with others is most impressive and precisely why we have these forums.

You will find a poll attached to this thread now, but posting your ruminations on these issues is most appreciated.

Provost

Ephraim_Zook
09-08-2006, 09:42 PM
...speciality folders might dilute the readership of the other forums as people would be less likely to check as many folders.

I find myself in concurrence with this statement by Thomas, even though he may not be in agreement with it himself. From a purely personal standpoint, I know that I won't go making an extra effort to look through a medical, or any other, specialty forum looking for interesting topics. On the on the other hand, I am likely to take a quick look through threads on one of the regular fora, and if I find a gem, I'll spend time reading. "Opportunistic learning" we called it when I worked in a library.

There are already independent listserves out there for those with an especial interest in 19th century clerking, cooking and Catholicism. Nothing stopping the cavalry, cannon cockers, and croakers from starting their own, too if they feel that one would be valuable to them.

My 2˘ worth.

NoahBriggs
09-09-2006, 08:50 AM
1) Should it be a separate conference, on the par with the Military and Civilian and Other Business? Or should it fall under one of those headings? I could see it going either way.

I say separate, since medical is applicable regardless if you are a citizen or soldier.

2) Is there a volunteer willing to act as the moderator for that area? They'd be responsible for bringing major problems to my attention and generally function as Tom and Sgt. Pepper and the Civilian Moderator do now.

I feel Doc Nelson or Tim Kindred are up to the task, if they feel they can handle it.

3) Would you be willing for me to move this thread to that new forum so you can build off of it's discussions?

Yes. We have been uploading some general files which should be posted as stickys at the top of the list for people to access. that way they do not have to wade through our discussions to find what they need.

4) Do you think we should have a conference for "branches of service" with forums for Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry, Medical, Naval, etc? Or would each branch deserve their own conference in your view?

Yes. I can see the Infantry being the biggest, but the AC forum also has sub-folders for the Cav and the Arty. I don't see why we cannot here (unless it costs lots of bandwidth).

tompritchett
09-09-2006, 01:18 PM
I say separate, since medical is applicable regardless if you are a citizen or soldier.

Did you vote in the poll as at this time there are no votes for a separate conference? If not, don't forget to vote. If you voted incorrectly, please let us know so that we can take that into account when tallying the votes up.

As for separate artillery, cavalry and infantry threads, I am not sure that they are really needed at this time based upon posts to date but I am more than willing to change my mind if the forum members so desire and are willing to support them. In fact, I would even be willing to moderate the infantry forum and I can think of individuals who would make excellent moderators for the other two.

BobWerner
09-09-2006, 05:33 PM
Did you vote in the poll as at this time there are no votes for a separate conference? If not, don't forget to vote. If you voted incorrectly, please let us know so that we can take that into account when tallying the votes up.


Tom, to quote the famous Elmer Fudd, "I squewed up." I did cast a vote yesterday, but I just realized that I checked the wrong option (the combined conference) when I should have checked to vote for a separate conference. What was I thinking? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I hope you good folks might also allow for discussion on the relief efforts that were directly related to the Medical Dept. and its extraordinary work. Organizations like the U.S. Sanitary Commission played a very key role in the humanitarian effort and I, for one, would like to see more discussion of such operations and how they play into our modern portrayals.

Thanks. Sorry for the goof.
Respectfully,

tompritchett
09-10-2006, 12:22 AM
Tom, to quote the famous Elmer Fudd, "I squewed up." I did cast a vote yesterday, but I just realized that I checked the wrong option (the combined conference) when I should have checked to vote for a separate conference. What was I thinking? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Not sure that we can change the vote tally itself, but we will keep track that one of the same conference votes should be a different conference vote.


Also, I hope you good folks might also allow for discussion on the relief efforts that were directly related to the Medical Dept. and its extraordinary work. Organizations like the U.S. Sanitary Commission played a very key role in the humanitarian effort and I, for one, would like to see more discussion of such operations and how they play into our modern portrayals.

I do not see why that subject would be banned from the proposed conference and I agree that many of us would welcome such a discussion. Of course the final say would be left to whomever the Provost appoints as the moderator, but I would argue for its inclusion.

TimKindred
09-11-2006, 08:13 AM
Comrades,

Although i am honored by Noah's reccomendation, I must humbly request that I NOT be considered at this time for Moderator of any new Medical folder. Between my several real life issues I simply cannot devote any time to anything other than the occasional posting at present.

I do hope that a seperate folder can be established and I voted for one included with other branch-specific folders. I also agree that allowing Sanitary Commission, State Agencies, etc, might be a good addition.

The overall goal should always be towards self-improvenment through research and discussion. Improvement in knowledge for our portrayals as well as the material culture and materia medica. We can't adequately begin to portray these folks without accurate clothing and props. Yet, without a good knowledge of what they knew and how their knowledge was put to use, we are simply well-clothed tableaux. What I mean is that although I and others will urge increased authenticity in uniforms, clothing, equipment, etc, all that is a waste of effort unless we can speak with some knowledge about our chosen subject(s).

We don't have to know it all, since we cannot know it all, but we have to know enough to get beyond play-acting and sustaining myths.

Respects,

"Doc" Nelson
09-11-2006, 08:42 AM
Very eloquently stated, Tim.;)

NoahBriggs
09-13-2006, 09:12 AM
A review of "Potions, Lotions and Deadly Elixirs - Medicine in Frontier America" by Wayne Bethard.

I just recently picked up a copy of "Potions, Lotions and Deadly Elixirs - Medicine in Frontier America" by Wayne Bethard as I was cruising the American History section of Borders. The book can be found in the General US History section.

"Potions" is a book written by a pharmacist for the intended audience of amateur historians, historic novelists, and the Morbidly Curious Garbage Minds such as ourselves. The book summarizes medicine and some non-surgical practice throughout the frontier in American history. In this case, "the frontier" covers any time or place which was the edge of what the colonial DWEMs (dead white European Males) considered civilization. Thus, the book also covers medicines used in the 18th century.

The general layout -

One chapter covers the wet medicines - pastes, emulsions, mineral waters and so on.

The drys - pills, powders, cachets, lozenges and so on.

The treatments - examines some common (and not-so-common) methods of treatment.

The List - lists animal, vegetable and mineral substances by their common name, and examines their most common use. By far the longest section in the book. It also lists the approximate year the substance was in most common use, and, if necessary, when its use was halted.

Provides a list of frontier medical dates - inventions and like.

Provides a list of references. Most of them are online sources.

Upsides

· Bethard uses humor and and anecdotes to illustrate his points. Thus it is not only educational, it is entertaining. He would win Chaucer's tale-telling contest.

· The book is well-organized.
· Bethard is a registered pharmacist.
· His sources are about equal between primary and secondary.
· Explains the topic in relatively plain English (for amateur surgeons such as ourselves, anyway).

Downsides

· Does not discuss homeopathy and its impact on American medicine in greater detail.
· It also ignores Thomsonian medicine.
· It does not separate herbal medicines in the list which could be classified as homeopathic vs. allopathic.
· The photos he includes misidentifies an ink scraper as a "bloodletting instrument". He also misidentifies the instruments in a nineteenth century surgical kit. What he calls "probes" is actually a top view of amputation knives. The kit is also incorrectly identified as "eighteenth century".

I would recommend this book to any medical reenactor - Colonial, Mex War, ACW or Cowboy/Historic West, civilian and/or military. I would, however, recommend you read it in conjunction with Michael Flannery's "Civil War Pharmcacy" and "A Primer of Civil War Medicine - Non-Surgical Practice" by Bruce Evans in order to cover your bases. All three of the books should give you a good grounding on non-surgical medicine. And of course, any primary sources as well.

Noah Briggs

FWL
09-13-2006, 02:49 PM
To all of you folks. I'm obviously not a medical type but some of you know me from field experience. As a result of the AC forum crash, I hope someone on this thread is doing a personal backup on this thread. I find this stuff very interesting. I know I'll cut and paste in and keep it in a file in my directory. Good stuff.

Regards

NoahBriggs
09-13-2006, 03:18 PM
Old rule for DC Spending -

Why have one when you can have another at twice the price?

What I post here as reference material is on my thumb drive. Should this become a folder/conference then I suggest the references we post - soldier symptoms, making meds and so on - be posted as stickys at the top of the page to make it easier for someone to search for it.

"Doc" Nelson
09-14-2006, 12:55 PM
I agree with Noah. Everything I post, I'll always have it in "reserve", just in case. You know how computers . . . databases . . . networks . . . well, you know how things are nowadays :)

Micah Trent
09-15-2006, 09:32 AM
I just wanted to let you all know that I have been reading up and following this thread for a good while. I am no doctor or anything close, just a living historian, but I must say that I have enjoyed reading this stuff very much. Very educational! I think it is awesome to have a thread like this going, especially, for you guys who do the medical side of living history.
I think it is something that needs to be looked at and appreciated a little more then what it is. Again, great stuff!

Thanks,
Micah Trent

NoahBriggs
09-15-2006, 11:43 AM
We wanted to post things which might actually be applicable to research, rather than speculation or buzz.

Currently updating the materials as research warrants as I write. I think medical applies to us all, and is appropriate to impression background.

"Doc" Nelson
09-17-2006, 12:30 AM
Folks, I am posting (with permission) a copy of a thesis written in 1864 by Doctor Richard Swanton Vickery, who was the Surgeon of the 2nd Michigan Infantry. I have to split up the thread, as it is too long for one thread. It may be of interest, to those that are into researching documents and such. Here is a man that has written a thesis on his "experiences" as a battlefield doctor.


This war, unprecedented in modern times for the numbers of men engaged on both sides, the fearful slaughter of its numerous battlefields and the consequent number of wounded requiring the Surgeon’s care, found the Medical Department like the other Departments of the army, not prepared for [the] demands upon it on such an enlarged scale. As might have been expected in the first battles there was but little method or system. Each Surgeon attended to the wounded of his own Regiment as well as he could, generally without much concert with others, and frequently he found his utmost efforts inadequate to their proper care.

But a little experience soon enabled the [Medical] Department to reduce matters to a better system. An operating staff of the most skilled Surgeons was appointed in each Division, who received and attended to the wounded, some little distance to the rear, while one Surgeon was appointed to accompany each Regiment in the field. It is his duties which we now propose to consider.

We will suppose his Regiment is formed in line of battle, expecting soon to be engaged; he has been notified that the Division Depot or Hospital is at some farm-house or other building, a mile or two to the rear, and during the few minutes quiet that he has left, he reviews his arrangements to see that they are as perfect as may be.

He wants to have the wounded as they fall, picked up as rapidly as possible and brought to the Depot which he shall select, there to be cared for and dressed, and forwarded quickly to the Division Hospital in the rear.

To ensure that his arrangements to end are complete, he has to consider first his means of transportation, his stretchers, and stretcher-bearers.

For a Regiment of five or six hundred men he should have at least four stretchers-those generally issued now with light canvas bottoms, and with transverse iron bars at the head and foot, the side poles being stout enough to be firm, are at best. They have not so much of that springing motion to every step of the bearers which is so disagreeable and sometimes torturing to the wounded man. A horse-litter has sometimes been furnished to Regiments, but it was both unwieldy and inconvenient, and seldom if ever used. If it should happen that there are no stretchers, blankets or shelter tents stretched between two poles will make a good substitute. Failing even these a man can be carried, though not so comfortably or so easily, on a blanket held by four men at the corners, or seated on the crossed arms of two stout men.

Then the stretcher bearers must be looked to, of whom there should be four to each stretcher. After reserving one or two of his Hospital attendants for other duties, he [the Surgeon] will have three or four of them to act in this capacity. The Drum Corps and the Regimental Band, if there is one, are always on the eve of battle ordered to report to the Surgeon for duty, but the less he calculates on aid from them the better. With a few exceptions, they are generally worthless as stretcher bearers, many of them being young lads physically incapable of such fatiguing duty.

These may be sufficient while the wounded are but few and come in slowly, but more help will soon be required when the combat thickens and some dashing charge or close firing brings them to the rear by dozens. In that case the Surgeon will find the Pioneers [construction troops] the best and most reliable aid. Generally numbering about ten under charge of an experienced Sergeant [and] all able-bodied men accustomed to stand fire, they form a really effective corps of stretcher bearers, and can generally be procured for that purpose if required on application to the Commanding Officer of the Regiment.

The next thing to be considered is his own field depot for the reception of the wounded as they come in.

It should be as near the Regiment as possible, so that the wounded may be promptly attended to.

It should be as secure as possible from shot and shell. In these days of rifled small arms and artillery, it cannot be out of range but by taking advantage of inequalities of the ground, getting behind some slight hill or knoll, comparative safety may be obtained and shelter from the heaviest fire: and there are few positions a Regiment can be in, in which a practiced eye will not discern some slight cover, close enough to be serviceable for that purpose. The advantages of this are that his attendants are cool and attentive to their duties, not watching the coming shot or shell with one eye and the patient with the other-that the wounded just in from the hot strife have a grateful feeling of safety, and are not agitated by seeing men fall around them-and last [but] not least, that the Surgeon himself, however brave, will be able to discharge his duty more clearly, steadily and quietly than if under direct fire. As expressed by a circular issued by the Surgeon General on the subject, while not letting any fears for his own safety interfere for a moment with the full discharge of his duty, he should be careful not to expose himself recklessly or carelessly.

If he can establish himself where the Ambulances can drive up, it will save his stretcher bearers much work, and ensure that the wounded will be moved speedily to the Division Depot.

Other advantages which it would be well to look to in selection of a site, though they are not indispensable, are water and shelter-such as trees or a building, if a storm or a hot southern sun should beat down on the field.

If there is time it would be well also to have something laid on the ground to place the wounded on- such as straw, hay, corn stalks, or even pine tops or brush of any kind.

These remarks apply to cases of general engagements where the position of a Regiment may not vary much during the day. If the Regiment advances the Surgeon of course follows it, and locates his Depot anew at each halt. If it is falling back fighting it is more than ever necessary that he should be near, that the wounded may be promptly cared for and carried off to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy.

[B]Next [after establishing the depot] he should see to the condition of his Hospital Knapsack with its dressings, ligatures [surgical threads], sponges, stimulants & c., also his instruments-a good pocket-case with perhaps a bullet forceps, being nearly all the instruments he is likely to need.

"Doc" Nelson
09-17-2006, 12:31 AM
These things being all considered he is ready for the reception of his wounded-and in coming to the subject of their care it may be well to make a few general remarks.

He should bear in mind that anything he does for them is but temporary-he has not instruments, assistants, time, nor any of the facilities to undertake operations not immediately required. Nor if he had would it be well for him to attempt them when a corps of Surgeons is waiting a little to the rear with all the appliances possible to attend to his patients.

The dressings he applies in all severe cases will be taken off soon again, the fractured limbs will be re-examined to determine the question of amputation or resection, balls remaining in the wounds will be sought for, and the wounded generally will be looked over anew as they arrive. . . .

It may indeed sometimes happen that there is no Division Hospital near; in that case he [the regimental surgeon] must shape his actions to suit altered circumstances, and dress every patient in a more permanent way.

If it should happen to be his first battle there are three things that will be apt to cause him some surprise.

1. The small amount of hemorrhage which requires his attention. He finds in his knapsacks a formidable array of tourniquets and compresses, yet it is very rarely that he will be obliged to use them. Men will be brought in who have bled a great deal-enough perhaps to saturate their clothing and the stretcher or blanket on which they lie-yet by the time they get to the Surgeon it [the bleeding] is generally stopped, or so nearly so as to require nothing more than a light wet compress and a bandage not too tightly applied.

Where a large artery is wounded the man generally dies before he can be moved-smaller arteries speedily become blocked up from the amount of bruising and disorganization of tissue caused by a rifle ball.

The exception to this are mostly in the case of wounds in the head or face where the vessels contained in bony canals do not retract so readily; or the greater vascularity keeps up the hemorrhage. Then a compress can nearly always be applied so as to check the bleeding until the patient gets to the Division Hospital.

Incised or punctured wounds inflicted by the sabre or bayonet, are also likely to be troublesome in this way, but the proportion of these . . . will be very small. He [the surgeon] may dress the wounded through a long engagement and not see an example of either. Bayonet charges though often heard of are very seldom seen.


2. The small amount of [emotional] depression [on the part of the wounded] compared with the extent of the injury.

So constantly is this the case, that when a man is brought in looking deadly pale, with sunken countenance, cold sweat upon his brow, pulse almost gone and all the symptoms of collapse, the Surgeon at once supposes that he is mortally wounded, and is too frequently right in his supposition-[yet the patient tends to remain in good spirits].

The ardor and fury of the fight stimulating every nerve and fibre of the body, and making every drop of blood flow quicker has not yet quite died away, and it is many hours before its effects altogether pass off.

Wounds of the intestines or any of the abdominal viscera are generally the most depressing-those of the thorax and head next-fractures of the limbs in proportion to their nearness to the trunk, and injuries of the joints in proportion to their size.

A little stimulant will be found very serviceable in most cases as they are brought in, and will be eagerly sought after by the wounded .


[B]3. The patience with which the men bear their sufferings. [The inexperienced surgeon] has probably read accounts of battlefields, describing the shrieks and groans of the wounded, and expects to find the [wounded] are full of lamentations. In place of that, he hears as a general rule only low moans escaping involuntarily, and an occasional expression of an impatient wish that the Doctor would get round quickly to dress the wound-the poor fellow expecting relief from him that he cannot often give. When a large nerve or plexus of nerves has been bruised, or partially divided, we sometimes hear expressions of acute pain, [but] not often otherwise.

If the wounded are brought in faster than the Surgeon can attend to them, he should appoint his Hospital Steward or if he is not there, one of the most experienced of his attendants to receive them as they come in, get them placed as comfortably as possible, and cut away the bloody clothing and sponge the wounds-all in readiness for his [the surgeon’s] examination. Another of the attendants might accompany him with dressings, adhesive plaster, & c. and still another will be well employed in administering water to the wounded, and stimulants to the cases designated by the Surgeon-taking care not to pour them in too liberally [army physicians were notorious for consuming much if not most of the brandy or whisky consigned to them!].

A sponging of the wound with cold water-especially in warm weather-removing any clotted blood or shreds of clothing, will be most grateful to the patient, and should generally be the first thing attended to. [This sort of sponging of course greatly increased the chance of infection, especially since the same sponge would be used on patient after patient!].


Where the ball remains in the wound it can be sought for and extracted by the bullet-forceps if within reach . . . . If lodged near the surface it can be readily cut out. If it cannot be easily found, it will be better not to torture the man by a prolonged search, but send him back to the Division Hospital . . . . Fractures of the thigh, or severe wounds of the chest, abdomen, should, if possible, be kept on the stretcher in which they were brought in, and thus sent on it to the Division Hospital. This saves them the torture of frequent moving . . . .

When the wounded are coming in fast, it is generally a good rule to attend to all serious cases in the order in which they are brought in, letting the slighter ones wait; though occasionally a case of unusual severity will require immediate attention and speedy removal to the Division Hospital.

Men wounded in the upper extremities, if not very severely, will frequently be able to make their own way to the rear after the wound has been dressed, and the arm supported in a sling.

In some cases of acute pain the Surgeon will find it necessary to administer an anodyne [pain reliever] immediately, but as a general rule it will not be required for some time.

It is not necessary to say anything of amputations here. It is very rarely, if ever, that they are required to be performed on the field, nor does the Surgeon have with him the instruments necessary for the purpose. [From this it would seem that the many descriptions of Civil War “sawbones” surrounded by piles of severed limbs apply either to the early period of the conflict or to the division hospitals].

If any wounded of the enemy are brought in, they should receive all the care and attention the Surgeon can possibly pay them consistent with his duty to his own men, who have the first claim upon his time. When a man is struck down he ceases to be an enemy and becomes a patient.

In conclusion, the Surgeon should bear in mind the good moral effect that a proper performance of his duty has upon the men of his regiment. It encourages them more than he may suppose to know that if struck down in the performance of their duty, they will be promptly removed and receive all the attention that kindness and surgical skill can bestow. [In fact many Civil War soldiers distrusted, even despised, surgeons-often not without good cause!]. It is scarcely necessary to say that he [the surgeon] should be gentle and kind-no hurry or turmoil will excuse a rude or rough-bearing to a wounded man. He should console and comfort as much as possible-have a few words of cheer, if there is any room for life. If asked as he frequently will be in an anxious tone what the prospect is of retaining life, or saving a shattered limb, he should speak as hopefully as he can. Not that he should encourage any one in false hopes where it is clear that life is ebbing out-or if a limb must be sacrificed, it is better to say so at once; then the man makes up his mind to the loss-but when there is room for doubt, the sufferer should at least have the benefit of it.

It may at some time become necessary to abandon his wounded to the enemy; but it should only be done in the last extremity, and when it is perfectly clear that they cannot be brought off. When many wounded are left, some Surgeons are always detailed to remain with them-and any number more than one or two, should never be left without a Surgeon.

Finally, when the smoke and the dust of the battle have cleared away, when the Surgeon, probably wearied and exhausted, has dressed his last wounded man, and seen him carried to the rear, and has penciled out his Report of Casualties, he has finished, for that day at least, “The Duties of the Surgeon in Action.”

"Doc" Nelson
09-23-2006, 07:09 PM
Wow, it seems to have gotten quite around here?? HELLO (as the echo bounces off of the walls) ;) .

NoahBriggs
09-23-2006, 08:26 PM
It's gotten "quite" what? Quiet?

Currently writing up crib notes for medical supplies to be found in the AGSAS Soldiers' Aid Society box. (This is so anyone from AGSAS can explain the medicines therein even if I am not around.)

Call it the "Regular Person's Guide to Medicines". ("Idiot" sounds too patronizing.)

I will be at the Harpers Ferry event the weekend of Oct. 7-9. Don't know if I will be doing medical, but I'll bring my toys just in case.

"Doc" Nelson
09-23-2006, 09:45 PM
Sorry Noah, "quiet". I guess I was in another world as I was typing :lol: .

unionmed
09-30-2006, 07:55 PM
Thank you for creating this site.
I have been often chastized for asking questions on the other forums and so far the answers on this site have been respectful and informative.

Doc Nelson, so you are with the 9th Mich--my husband's great-great Grandfather was a provost in the 9th.

Our unit does minor first aid and the ice water detail for the Union troops (no offense to our Confederate commrades but four women can only do so much) we never refuse aid to any reenactor.
We are also affilliated with the Cumberland Guard.

Our unit can always use "a few good women"!

Regards,
Pat, RN
8th Michigan Medical, Inc.

hta1970
05-19-2008, 10:41 PM
Ok, Found it!

Could you use cola syrup and anise like is done in laudnum with the addition of peppermint to make paregoric?


List of Civil War Medicines

The items in this list are taken from the contents of the U.S.Army Medicine Pannier. The numbers indicate the item's location in the pannier, to prevent mix-ups. Also listed are modern look-alikes for reenactors to put in their bottles and tins. Items are listed by Latin name, common name, amount in the pannier, (D) description, (A) action, and (L) look-alike.

21 Tincture Opii Laudanum-6 Fl Oz
D: Reddish-brown liquid; A: Pain relief, control of diarrhea; L: cola syrup with a dash of barak

28 Tincture Opii Camphorata Paregoric Elixir-6 Fl Oz
D: Brownish-green liquid; A: antispasmodic, diarrhea, nausea; L: Campho-phenique mixed with vanilla

NoahBriggs
05-20-2008, 06:36 AM
Yes. My laudanum and paregoric are the same thing.