The Origins of Emergency Medicine – Lessons from Civil War Medicine
The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is proud to connect the past to the present. By using historical wisdom and examples, we can help address modern problems One particularly impactful area where we see a link is emergency medicine.
America’s bloodiest conflict saw tremendous advances in emergency medical practices. The Civil War killed an estimated 700,000 people and resulted in millions of cases of wounds and disease. It was a medical crisis unlike any seen before or since in the United States. The policymakers and practitioners on the front lines worked together to establish many of the foundational systems and practices – triage, tiered levels of care, and more – that continue to be utilized more than 155 years later.
Major Jonathan Letterman, perhaps more than anyone else of the time, was behind the innovations in emergency medicine that are still in use today. This program explores the Civil War experiences of Jonathan Letterman and how, through his leadership and innovative ideas, he implemented critical changes that saved countless lives in the Civil War and shaped emergency practices to the present day.
The presentation is perfect for students or professionals in the medical profession. By taking inspiration from those who responded to American’s greatest healthcare crisis and learning the innovations they passed down, those in the medical field today can trace the legacy of their caring spirit back 155 years and beyond.