How far and why did surgery improve because of warfare?

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Surgery improved greatly through warfare, because surgeons were introduced to new wounds as new weapons were used and caused injuries that the surgeons were not familiar with. This created new opportunities for surgeons to practice different techniques. Pain, blood-loss and infection all benefited from war, but they didn’t improve only when a war was happening. Pain was the first of the three main problems with surgery to be overcome. The first step towards relieving pain was Paré, a 1575 army surgeon who found using egg yolks and turps soothed the wounds better than cauterising the stumps of amputated limbs with boiling oil. This discovery also helped blood-loss. However, this did not help infection, as the ligatures he tied the blood vessels with were unclean and made the wounds even more infected than if the cauterisation was used. The next step was the discovery of the first anaesthetic by a man called Humphrey Davy, who discovered ’laughing gas’ (nitrous oxide). This was used as an anaesthetic in surgery very early on, but it didn’t work as well, because the patients were in too much of a state to stay still for their operations, despite them being minor and simple. In 1846, a man named Warren discovered a chemical called ‘ether’ that was a very good anaesthetic. However, ‘ether‘ irritated the lungs of patients, so surgeons decided to dismiss it. In 1847, James Young Simpson discovered chloroform, as the Industrial Revolution had only just started, scientists were able to purchase chemicals. He discovered chloroform during an experiment with his friends, where he learnt that it could be used to put someone to sleep. Simpson first used chloroform to ease pain during childbirth. However, the dosage had to be perfect, as too much would have killed the patient, but too little would not have put the patient to sleep. Unfortunately, ‘ether’ was still being used up
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