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From the Archive

How the First World War changed the medical world


t the start of World War One, although women had been allowed to study and practise medicine for 40 years, their work was confined to general practice and in hospitals founded by women for the treatment of women and children. When they volunteered their services to treat the war wounded, the War Office refused to employ women in war zones, believing it had sufficient reserves of male medical personnel. The French Red Cross was more accepting of female doctors. By the close of war, one fifth of female doctors had undertaken medical war work, both here and abroad.

Medical advances

 Physicians learned better wound

management and improved survival rates.  The huge scale of those needing medical care helped teach physicians and nurses the advantages of triage.

 Blood banks were developed.  Skin graft surgery was pioneered  The Thomas splint, which secured a

broken leg, had a massive impact on survival rates. At the beginning of war 80% of soldiers with broken femurs died but by 1916, using this splint meant 80% of soldiers with this injury survived.

And finally...

NGH gained a new pathology laboratory, paid for by G.T. Hawkins, boot and shoe manufacturer. It was much needed to help treat the influx of war wounded to the county as the nearest laboratory was in London or Birmingham. The laboratory helped in the making of vaccines, treatment of war wounds, TB - and VD with around 5 per cent of all the men enlisted in Britain’s armies during the war becoming infected with venereal disease.

NGH’s Matron Nelson who worked at a Voluntary Aid Detachment hospital during the First World War.

Northamptonshire Health Charity

Charity donations Thank you for thinking of making a donation or fundraising to support the hospital. There are various ways to keep in touch or contact us: Tel: 01604 6262927 Email: Website: NorthamptonshireHealthCharitableFund @NHCFGreenHeart

To make a donation you can: P  ost us a cheque - made payable to Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund or abbreviate it to NHCF - to: NHCF, Springfield, Cliftonville, Northampton, NN1 5BE. Please include a note letting us know where you would like your donation to

benefit and with your address so that we can send you a receipt.  Bank transfer: please contact us for more information. O  nline: please visit our website and click on the “make a donation” button.  Mastercard, Visa, Visa Delta and Switch: payment by credit and debit card can be accepted over the phone. R  egular giving: you can donate to us on a regular basis by setting up a standing order, please give the team a call for details of how to do this. P  ayroll giving: you can arrange with your employer to deduct a set amount each payday to give to a ward or department of your choice. This deduction is made before calculating your taxable pay, which reduces the amount on which you pay tax.

G  ift in your will: please give us a call to find out how you can make a gift in your Will to the ward or department of your choice. G  ift Aid: if you are a UK taxpayer we can claim an extra 25p for every pound you donate from the Inland Revenue under the Gift Aid scheme. This won’t cost you a penny! Please just let us know if you would like to claim Gift Aid when you make your donation. We really appreciate your donations. Please let us know which area in the hospital your donation is for and please include your contact details so we can let you know when your donation has been received. Or if you would like help with fundraising ideas, donation cans or charity t-shirts please give us a call.

Your donation will make a real difference, thank you for helping us to improve tomorrow. 26 ❘ Insight

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Insight Northampton Winter 2018/2019  

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