In 1940, as the U.S. Government prepared for possible American involvement in the war that was raging in Europe, the U.S. military braced for a large number of casualties. In June 1940, the Surgeons General of the Army and Navy asked the American Red Cross and the National Research Council to find a way to stockpile massive blood reserves that could be used by the armed forces in the event of war. The American Red Cross called upon the leading experts in the field of blood collection and preservation, including Dr. Charles R. Drew, who had taught at Howard University’s College of Medicine. The project Dr. Drew supervised paved the way for a national blood program that operated throughout World War II, providing 13 million pints of blood and plasma to wounded U.S. soldiers.
Amputation being performed in a hospital tent, Gettysburg, 07/1863
Circular Letter Setting Out Requirements for Proper Measures to Secure the Identification of Soldiers Dying in Hospital Under Their Charge, 01/29/1863
Vaccination clinics like this one in Tazewell County, Virginia helped to eliminate smallpox. World-wide efforts were so successful that on December 9, 1979 it was declared eradicated.
Miner’s children being given pre-school examination and being vaccinated for smallpox by Dr. Tiernan, company doctor. Jewell Ridge Coal Company, Jewell Ridge Mine, Jewell Ridge, Tazewell County, Virginia., 08/01/1946
International Nurses Day is celebrated every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.
PENICILLIN… SAVES SOLDIERS’ LIVES!
Penicillin, one of the earliest successful antibiotics, was first isolated and identified by Alexander Fleming on September 28, 1928, for which he would receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine. This World War II-era poster shows one lucky recipient (although he may want to reconsider that cigarette).