Treatment of Wounds
Evacuation of the
Instruments and Chart
of death in British Army hospitals 1812-1814
Lists of British
officers wounded and killed in the Peninsula
wounds would be treated by using a butterfly bandage,
which was made of sticking plaster and bandage. It
was first attached to one side of the wound and drawn
tightly to meet the other side and then being stuck
to that. A bandage would help keep everything in place
and allow the wound to heal together.
were made from cotton thread or sinew and were used
to pull together larger wounds.
swords and knives left deep puncture wounds were usually
fatal if they were in the chest or abdomen as there
was little the medical staff could do about them.
To treat these surgeons often let the wound bleed
for a while to clean it of dirt or clothing material
and in many cases actually increased the width of
the injury to boost the exit of unwanted matter.
slight musketball wounds carried the deadly potential
of infection as the projectile would take with it
small pieces of uniform, as well as dirt. If it hit
bone then the resulting splinters added to the bacterial
danger and there was always the risk of straight out
just bleeding to death.
embedded musketballs - below the depth of a surgeon's
finger - were regularly left inside the body and allowed
to work themselves into a shallower position. Many
veterans carried the leaden balls inside them for
the rest of their lives.