Author Question: When Was Pregnancy Related Anemia Discovered?

Robin Asks:

I’m looking but I can’t find gestational anemia. I need to know if they would have diagnosed that in 1912 and what they might have called it. If it was diagnosed, what treatment might they have prescribed?

Jordyn Says:
blood-1813410_1920
First of all, I’ve never personally heard the term gestational anemia so I started my Google search with “when was anemia first discovered” and then started narrowing it down from there to pregnancy related anemia. I wasn’t having much luck on doing a basic Google search and decided to head over to Google books where I’ve had better luck with historical questions.

There, I found a book called An Antropology of Biomedicine and from that found the following information:

The discovery of the link between macrocytic anemia (a lack of red blood cells in which those that remain are swollen) and folate (a water-soluble form of vitamin B) was first made in India in 1928, when a British scientist Lucy Wills traveled to Bombay to work with “Mohammedan women” who were commonly found to have this particular form of anemia during pregnancy.

So, it looks like the discovery was made after your time frame, Robin.

Sarah Sundin: WWII US Army Hospitals Part 3/3

This is Sarah’s final installment on WWII Army Hospitals. I’d like to thank Sarah for all her hard work on these terrific posts. Click the links for Part I and Part II.

US Army Hospitals in World War II—Part 3

Ruth squatted beside his cot. “Have you ever flown before, Corporal?”

            “No, ma’am. A man’s meant to stay on the ground.”

            “How long did it take you to get to England?”

            “Almost two months, ma’am, zigzagging around them U-boats.”

            “Mm-hmm. Well, tonight you’ll have dinner in New York. You may change your mind about flying.”

a-memory-betweenIn my novel A Memory Between Us, the heroine becomes a flight nurse, pioneering medical air evacuation. If you’re writing a novel set during World War II, a soldier character may get sick or wounded, and you’ll need to understand how patients were evacuated from the battleground to the hospital and perhaps taken stateside.

In my first post,  I discussed the chain of evacuation. In my second post, I discussed more details about mobile and fixed hospitals, and today I’ll cover evacuation of the wounded.

Manual Transport

On the battleground, medics or fellow soldiers could manually carry a wounded man further to the rear for aid. Methods included the supporting carry (walking side-by-side), the arms carry, the saddleback carry (piggy-back), and the fireman’s carry.

Litter Transport

American litters were made of canvas stretched over aluminum or wood poles with stirrup-shaped feet to keep them off the ground. A litter could be carried by two people, but a litter squad consisted of four men, to rotate if traveling long distances and to assist over obstacles. Ideally, litter transport was only used for short distances, but in mountainous or forested or swampy terrain, litter transport was the only available means. Mules were often used in the Mediterranean Theater to carry litters in rocky, mountainous terrain.

Motor Transport

Ambulances were used to transport patients, usually from an aid, clearing, or collecting station to a field hospital, or for transport further to the rear. Ambulances could carry seven seated patients or four patients on litters.

Water Transport

Jeeps were often used, both on the battleground and to transport further to the rear. Rugged and maneuverable, jeeps could cover terrain inhospitable to ambulances. With litter brackets, a jeep could carry two patients. Armored divisions also used light tanks to transport their wounded.

During an amphibious landing, the best way to handle the wounded was to send them back on departing landing craft, which carried them to hospital ships off-shore. Patients could be removed from danger and transported quickly to get needed care.

Hospital ships were used offshore after an invasion to care for the wounded before field and evacuation hospitals could be set up. They also transported patients who needed long-term care to general hospitals further to the rear. Another use of hospital ships was to transport to the US any patients who needed long-term convalescent care or those who qualified for a medical discharge. They carried several hundred patients and delivered full medical care, but transport took a long time and carried the danger of enemy attack at sea.

Rail Transport

Hospital trains were used within theaters of operation to transport patients from one hospital to another. They were used in the continental US, Britain, continental Europe, India, and North Africa. They could carry several hundred patients with excellent medical care.

Air Transport

Medical air evacuation was new and revolutionary, but by the end of the war, it proved successful. Planes can traverse inhospitable terrain or dangerous seas—and quickly. At the front, the wounded were gathered at collecting stations at airfields. C-47 cargo planes carried 18-24 litter patients or a higher number of ambulatory patients further to the rear. A team consisting of a flight nurse and a surgical technician cared for the patients in flight. The larger C-54 cargo plane was used for trans-oceanic evacuation. Danger still existed, both from the inherent risks of flight and also because the planes carried cargo and couldn’t be marked with the Red Cross.

Resources for Research

Office of the Surgeon General. Medical Field Manual: Transportation of the Sick and Wounded. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, Feb. 21, 1941 (available free on-line at http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/index.html ). Please note the date—some of the material, especially about air evacuation, became quickly outdated.

For better information on air evacuation, please see:

Links, Mae Mills & Coleman, Hubert A. Medical Support of the Army Air Forces in World War II. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Surgeon General, USAF, 1955.
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sarahsundin2
Sarah Sundin is the author of the Wings of Glory series from Revell: A Distant Melody (March 2010), A Memory Between Us (September 2010), and Blue Skies Tomorrow (August 2011). She has a doctorate in pharmacy from UC San Francisco and works on-call as a hospital pharmacist.

***This content is reposted from December 17th, 2010.***

Sarah Sundin: WWII US Army Hospitals Part 2/3

This week, I’m pleased to host author Sarah Sundin as she shares some of her wonderful research that served as the backdrop for her Wings of Glory Series. You can find Part I here.

US Army Hospitals in World War II—Part 2

Ruth passed precise military rows of the hospital’s Nissen huts. Redgrave Hall stood to the west, but she headed south across the road the ambulances used and entered a lightly wooded meadow and another world. How could one family own so much land?

          If Ruth had resources like that, she wouldn’t be in a fix.

a-memory-betweenIn my novel, A Memory Between Us, the heroine serves as a US Army nurse based in England. If you’re writing a novel set during World War II, you may need to write a scene set in a military hospital, and you’ll need to understand Army hospitals.

Last post, I discussed the chain of evacuation, today I’ll discuss more details about mobile and fixed hospitals, and on the next post, I’ll cover evacuation of the wounded.

Mobile Hospitals

Field hospitals (400 beds) and evacuation hospitals (either 400 bed or 750 bed) arrived within a few days of an invasion and followed the army, staying about thirty miles behind the front. They were close enough to treat patients quickly and send them back to the front quickly as well.

These hospitals relied on mobility. They usually used canvas tents, but also used schools, barracks, hospital buildings, hotels, Mediterranean villas, and an Italian stadium. A few days before a move, the hospital stopped admitting patients and evacuated their current patients to other hospitals. They packed their equipment and personnel into trucks, advanced, set up, and were ready to admit patients within hours.

When ambulances arrived, triage officers sent patients to pre-op, medical, shock, or evacuation wards as needed. Surgical teams worked twelve hours on, then twelve hours off.

In the European Theater (England, France, Belgium, Germany), the field hospitals stayed closer to the front, with the evacuation hospitals further to the rear. In the Mediterranean Theater (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, southern France), field hospitals and evacuation hospitals were often used interchangeably. Both theaters practiced “leapfrogging” as the front advanced—hospital A would pass hospital B, then hospital B would pass hospital A. This reduced the frequency of moves.

Fixed Hospitals

The station hospitals (250, 500, or 750 bed), general hospitals (1000 bed), and convalescent hospitals (2000 or 3000 bed) were set up far from the front to keep patients safe from danger, but also to keep them in the theater, which made it easier to return the soldiers to duty. In England before D-Day, field and evacuation hospitals waiting for the Normandy invasion functioned as station hospitals to care for patients.

In each theater of operations, fixed hospitals operated in what was called the “Communications Zone.” In the European Theater, the COMZ was originally in England, then as the Allies approached the German border, the COMZ extended to include Normandy and Belgium. In the Mediterranean Theater, Morocco served as the first COMZ, then Algeria. When the Allies invaded Sicily and Italy, North Africa was the COMZ, and as the front advanced, the COMZ was established in the Naples area of southern Italy. In the Pacific, fixed hospitals were first established in Hawaii and Australia, then followed into secured regions.

Fixed hospitals moved less often and occupied more permanent facilities. American units used some standing hospitals in host or occupied countries, but most were a collection of Nissen huts, 20-ft by 40-ft corrugated tin semi-cylinders. In England, these hospital complexes were often placed on estate grounds, and had concrete floors, flush toilets, clean water, and were heated by coal-burning stoves. In the Mediterranean and Pacific, facilities were more primitive but improved over time. In these theaters, mosquito netting was draped over the beds to prevent transmission of malaria.

Fixed hospitals in the Zone of the Interior (continental United States) enjoyed the benefits of modern buildings and facilities. However, shortages of medication, equipment, and personnel were always a problem.

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sarahsundin2
Sarah Sundin is the author of the Wings of Glory series from Revell: A Distant Melody (March 2010), A Memory Between Us (September 2010), and Blue Skies Tomorrow (August 2011). She has a doctorate in pharmacy from UC San Francisco and works on-call as a hospital pharmacist.

***This content is reposted from December 15, 2010.***

Sarah Sundin: WWII US Army Hospitals Part 1/3

I’m so thrilled to have author Sarah Sundin here this week. If you’re looking for information surrounding WWII, check out all of her posts. Recently, she did a series on WWII nursing. They’re an excellent resource.

US Army Hospitals in World War II—Part 1

Lieutenant Doherty wrote on the clipboard while the mercury rose, and Jack glanced around the Nissen hut, which was like a giant tin can sawed in half. Four coal stoves ran down the aisle, with ten beds on each side, only eight of which were occupied. Jack didn’t mind the extra attention.

In the Wings of Glory series, my B-17 pilot heroes keep getting injured and hospitalized. If you’re writing a novel set during World War II, your soldier characters may need treatment, and you’ll need to understand how and where patients were hospitalized.

sarsunwoundsolToday I’ll discuss the chain of evacuation, on December 15th, I’ll discuss more details about mobile and fixed hospitals, and on December 17th, I’ll cover evacuation of the wounded.

The Chain of Evacuation

Wartime medical treatment occurred on muddy battlefields under fire, tent hospitals only miles from the front, and sterile stateside hospitals.

A complex chain moved patients to where they could best be treated. At all points along this chain, decisions were made regarding when to treat, when to return to duty, and when to evacuate further to the rear.

Organic Medical Units

These units were attached to combat units and followed them into battle.

Battlefield: Medics performed first aid and moved the wounded to the aid station, often under fire.

Battalion aid station: About one mile from front. Physicians and medics adjusted splints and dressings, administered plasma and morphine. Soldiers reported to the aid station for treatment of minor illnesses or mild combat fatigue.

Collecting station: About two miles from front, near regiment command post. Further adjustment of splints and dressings, administration of plasma, treatment of shock.

Clearing station: About four to ten miles from front. Treated shock and minor wounds. Grouped patients in ambulance loads for transport to field hospitals.

Mobile Hospitals

These hospitals were assigned to a theater of operations, and could be packed and moved quickly.

Field Hospitals: Within thirty miles of clearing station—were supposed to receive the wounded within one hour of injury. Surgery was performed for the most severe cases.

Evacuation Hospitals: Treated illnesses and less urgent surgical cases. Patients could be reconditioned here to return to the front.

Fixed Hospitals

These hospitals were set up a safe distance from the front, either in the theater of operations or stateside.

Station Hospitals: Usually attached to a military base, designed to treat illnesses and injuries among personnel stationed at that base.

General Hospitals: Large facilities where patients received long-term treatment.

Convalescent Hospitals: Designed for rehabilitation.

Resources for Research

Cosmas, Graham A. & Cowdrey, Albert E. The Medical Department: Medical Service in the European Theater of Operations. Washington, D.C.: United States Army Center of Medical History, 1992.

Wiltse, Charles M. The Medical Department: Medical Services in the Mediterranean and Minor Theaters. Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1965. (available free on line at http://history.amedd.army.mil/books.html)

Condon-Rall, MaryEllen & Cowdrey, Albert E. The Medical Department: Medical Service in the War Against Japan. Washington, D.C.: United States Army Center of Medical History, 1998.

Links, Mae Mills & Coleman, Hubert A. Medical Support of the Army Air Forces in World War II. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Surgeon General, USAF, 1955.

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sarahsundin2
Sarah Sundin is the author of the Wings of Glory series from Revell: A Distant Melody (March 2010), A Memory Between Us (September 2010), and Blue Skies Tomorrow (August 2011). She has a doctorate in pharmacy from UC San Francisco and works on-call as a hospital pharmacist.

***This content is reposted from December 13, 2010.***

Historical Medical Question: Head Injury 1870s

April Asks:

skull-476740_1920I have a question regarding medicine in the 1870’s.  What would brain/cranial surgery consist of then?

I’ve tried to find some information on this type of operation from this time period, but have had very little luck so far.  In a quick scenario, there’s been a serious buggy accident, and the heroine of the novel has bleeding on the brain. I know one proposed procedure for this was to actually drill a hole into the skull to let out the influx of blood. Was this happening and being practiced in the 1870’s? Also, what would the medical instruments of the day have been to achieve such a surgery?

Jordyn Says:

This could definitely be a set up for a craniotomy (drilling a hole into the skull or creating a burr hole) to be used to relieve pressure within the cranium. The procedure would have been called trephining and was definitely used during your time period. Two resources for the procedure can be found here and here.

Author Question: Treatment of Burns circa 1807


Michelle G asks
:

I’m working on a historical (surprise, surprise) 1807, to be exact, in England, and wondered if you could give me a little medical advice? I’ve burnt the leg of one of my characters, a little boy, like 9, and I want him up and about in 3 weeks or so, but he can use a crutch. What would that leg look like? How much pain? How would he react that first week? I don’t want to overdo it, nor do I want to gloss over it either. What’s your .02?

Here’s what happened to him…

“Thomas leaned over the hearth to scoop a ladle of stew from the pot. He moved too fast, with too much force. The hook broke. The pot fell into the flames. Coals shot out, catching the fabric of his trousers. He tried to whack it out, brave boy, but ended up fanning it larger. He ran. I stopped him. I thought he was…” She gulped back the lump in her throat. “I thought he was dead.”


Jordyn Says:

This sounds like a pretty significant burn– his pants catching on fire. Easily partial thickness and could even be full thickness in some places. Have you considered just having the pot of stew fall on him– maybe with bare legs? This would be more partial thickness and could more likely heal in your time frame.

Full thickness burns are problematic because they usually require grafting so back then treatment was likely very limited. We also do fluid resuscitation for significant burns and if both of his legs were this severely burned– he’d need quite a bit of fluid, and again, I’m not sure this would be available during your time period.

So, I might try to back down the injury to second degree burns. Those should heal up pretty nicely in your three week time frame. Second degree or partial thickness would include skin blistering and peeling, big concern for infection (intact skin is your largest protector against infection) and dehydration initially because burns also leak a lot of fluid. He could probably walk with crutches. It’s not really a muscle injury (it would be if you go with full thickness burns– like his pants catching of fire) so he should be able to walk.
Pain is going to be a big issue. Burns are very painful. So, he’s going to need something.

Here is a very interesting link that has tons of information on the evolution of burn surgery. It will give you some treatment options for your time period. 

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Keep up with the exploits of Michelle Griep at Writer Off the LeashFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. You can check out her latest novel,  A Heart Deceived, at David C. Cook as well as AmazonBarnes & Noble, and ChristianBook.  

Author Question: TB and Lung Surgery

What happens when a surgeon takes out the wrong lung?

This writer’s question came from Lana and actually brings up several interesting points of discussion for her novel. First of all, the question stems from a family incident in 1954 which would really be considered historical as far as medicine is concerned.

Let’s dive into Lana’s question.

Lana asks:

I am a new writer and have some questions regarding a medical incident that occurred in my family in approximately 1954, but today the details are sketchy. Dr. Mabry (thanks Richard!) gave me your name.

The story: My uncle was told he had TB and must have his diseased lung removed. He had surgery, but the wrong lung was taken out.

Question #1: Would they have planned to remove the lung because of TB and would a doctor have actually taken out a whole lung or would it have been one lobe?

Question #2: Would the doctor have been able to see his mistake immediately after surgery? I’m not sure how the mistake was made or discovered.

Question #3: After removing the wrong lung (or lobe), how long would it have taken to reschedule another surgery?

Jordyn says:

One– I have to thank a physician coworker for her help on these– thanks, Liz!

Question #1: It depends on how diseased the lung was. Back then– there weren’t antibiotics to treat TB like there is now so this was considered treatment. However, since it didn’t cure the infection like antibiotics would– I’m not sure how beneficial it was for the patient. If on x-ray it looked like the whole lung was involved then they would have taken the whole thing out. If it looked like just part was involved– then perhaps just a lobe.

Question #2: The doctor would not have known about his mistake until the pathology report came back. The doctor I spoke to said on the outside– the lung might be very normal appearing (which perhaps played into the wrong lung being removed) but all removed biological things go to pathology to confirm a diagnosis. The wrong something being taken out or off is rare but does happen and lots of things play into these surgical errors. I’m going to provide some links below that talk about how these happen in some other situations.

Question #3: Reschedule surgery? Obviously– if they took out the whole lung he could not go back for another surgery to remove a whole other lung– because then he’d have nothing to do oxygen exchange and would therefore die. I guess they could remove part of the remaining lung but I’m not sure how much lung tissue you need to survive. This could be an area for you do some reading on. I couldn’t find a quick answer for you. It looks like the first successful lung transplant was in 1963 and it would have taken time for these procedures to become commonplace. If they did take him back– perhaps they’d wait for him to recover from the first surgery which might be a good 2-4 weeks I’m guessing.

Here are some links to this particular kind of surgery error:

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/09/17/us/doctor-who-cut-off-wrong-leg-is-defended-by-colleagues.html

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/10/18/health.surgery.mixups.common/

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jan/29/double-ouch-doctor-operates-wrong-knee/

Has anyone had this experience or known someone this has happened to? Did the hospital disclose why the error happened?

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I’m Lana Kruse—last name pronounced Kruzey, rhymes with doozie! I’m one of the original baby boomers—you know, before we became a whole generation. It’s been fun to have been well-known, watched and written about since birth! I’m a wife, mother of two, grandmother of five (aka Mimi), and friend. I hope you will join me in that last category via my blog. I love people, words, laughter and eating out. Put all of these things together, and I’m in heaven!

Avoiding the Fellas in White Jackets

I’m pleased to host author and friend, Michelle Griep, this week as she blogs about historical medicine.

Welcome back, Michelle!

My mother took me to a pediatrician when I was five because I spent an excessive amount of time beneath the dining room table talking to my best buddy…Daniel Boone. Yeah, I know. He’s dead. I knew it at the time as well, but that didn’t stop me from having heart-to-hearts with him. In my mind, he was as real as the old cat lady who lived next door, only he didn’t smell as funky.

The doctor vindicated me by telling my mom there was nothing to worry about. I simply had a bad case of a vivid imagination. I don’t dare tell her (or the good doctor) that my gray matter now devises horrific murder scenes in cinemagraphic color—and that I actually make money doing it. 
All this to say that writers are a quirky lot. They have to be, or they won’t get paid, which is really interesting because a few hundred years ago, the same twitchy behavior might’ve landed one in the loony bin. It didn’t take much…
Attitude
Husbands committed wives for being “melancholy”. Translation: the fella took a fancy to the hot babe down the lane and wanted to ditch his wife.
Physical Glitch
Yo, mom and dad…got too many mouths to feed and one of them has a slight deformation? Maybe a cleft palate, perhaps? No worries. Pack that kid off to the asylum and voila; one less plate to serve at dinnertime.
Revenge
If someone higher up the food chain has an issue with you, watch your back, buddy. Dueling is against the law, but getting you committed sure isn’t. All it takes is a lie or two whispered into the right ears and you’ll be packing your bags for Bedlam.
Traitorous Tendencies
One of the most famous nutjobs in Bethlehem Royal Hospital was James Tilly Matthews, who was little more than a verbal threat to the crown. Well, to be fair, there was the rumor that he was a double agent, and he did think there was a conspiracy to place bad thoughts into his head by use of an “airloom”, but other than that, he was relatively harmless…unless you happened to be one of the politicians he spoke against and were worried he might froth up the rabble against you.
Getting packed off to a late eighteenth century asylum was about as much fun as stint in a Poorhouse. Many were understaffed, over populated, and the mental health industry itself was in need of reformation—which would and did come, but not in time to help out the heroine in my latest release, A Heart Deceived.
Today, writers, daydreamers and silly hearts don’t need to be as fearful about the men in white jackets coming to haul them away. Still, it wouldn’t hurt if you kept all your talk about airlooms to yourself.
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 A Heart Deceived is available by David C. Cook and at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ChristianBook. Keep up with the exploits of Michelle Griep at Writer Off the Leash, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
 

Author Question: Can Chloroform be Sprayed?

Sarah Asks:

Would chloroform, if shot out from a spray toward the victim, be effective for making a person pass out right away?

Jordyn Says:

Chloroform Mask 1865

Depends. Are you inside or outside?
I’m not sure that method of delivery will work for Chloroform. I found this paragraph that explains why. It is from this link: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-chloroform.htm

“Chloroform can easily be carried in water, and when it is exposed to oxygen and sunlight, a chemical reaction forms phosgene, a toxic gas. If chloroform is exposed outdoors, the phosgene will break down and ultimately become harmless, but in enclosed spaces, it can be highly dangerous: in addition to use in modern manufacturing processes, phosgene had a historical use as a deadly chemical weapon in both World War I. In groundwater, chloroform will build up and take a long time to break down, because it is not readily water-soluble. For this reason, most environmental agencies set safety levels for chloroform content, so that water can be routinely evaluated to see whether or not it poses a threat to consumers.”

Must the substance be sprayed? I’m not aware of any substance that could be sprayed that would just knock a person out, leaving them relatively unharmed with their breathing intact. After all, the police would probably readily use it in their work as it wouldn’t be as irritating as pepper spray, the taser, or as lethal as a bullet.

Any thoughts for Sarah?

Renee Yancy: Ancient Medicine in Ireland

I’m so pleased to host author Renee Yancy today as she discusses her research into ancient medicine in Ireland. And, as a special treat, if there are 10 or more comments, she is giving away a free copy of her book!

Welcome, Renee!

In my 5th century historical novel, A Secret Hope, my heroine Ciara is studying to become a druid physician. Having a medical background myself, it was a delight to research ancient medicine in Ireland. Here are some of the tidbits I found.

In the 21st century we know Lambs Ear as the soft, silvery-green leaves in a flower garden that children love to “pet.” But once upon a time, Lambs Ear was known as Woundwort, because the leaves were believed to have healing properties. During the Civil War, Lambs Ear leaves were used as bandages. And what did people do before Band-Aids were invented? A single wooly Lambs Ear leaf is perfect to roll around a hurt finger. A long blade of grass or a pine needle could be used as a fastener.

Another staple of ancient medicine was the water-loving willow tree. Willow bark

contains salicin, and salicin is used to create acetylsalicylic acid, better known today as aspirin. The ancient Celts would simmer willow bark, let it steep, and drink the resulting tea. In the cold, damp areas of Britain, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, the magical willow bark tea would have been a precious commodity for people who suffered the pains of rheumatism and arthritis.

Another fascinating plant is comfrey. Comfrey has had lots of names over the course of history: Blackwort, Knitbone, and Boneset, to name a few. The last two names give a hint as to one of the major uses of comfrey in ancient medicine.

The leaves would be ground to make a vivid green poultice for bruises and sprains. For broken bones, the fresh roots would be grated and applied over the fracture. This root poultice would turn rock hard and be left over the limb until the bones would “knit”. Comfrey contains several vitamins and minerals, allantoin (which aids cell growth) and 18 amino acids. This amazing plant is known as far back as the 1st century, and is mentioned in the writings of Dioscorides, considered to be the Father of modern pharmacology.
Honey has been used for at least 2,000 years as a dressing for wounds and burns. The ancients didn’t know that honey has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties but they knew that it worked. The use of honey reduced healing time and decreased scar formation. Plus it smells good!

When antibiotics came on the scene in the 1940’s, the use of honey declined. Now seventy years later when overuse of antibiotics has resulted in scary drug-resistant microorganisms, the use of honey is once again current. In my research I read the report of a 15 year old boy who contracted meningococcal septicemia. He developed peripheral necrosis (tissue death) of his hands and feet. He had to endure bilateral amputations of both legs mid-tibia (shin bone) and lost most of his fingers. His hands healed well but he had many unsuccessful skin grafts to his legs. The pain was so intense that his dressing changes had to be done under anesthesia.

Finally honey dressings were tried. Within a few days the skin on his legs began to improve. In ten weeks his wounds had healed and he went on to successful rehabilitation. Something to think about the next time you stir a teaspoon of honey into your tea!
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Renee Yancy has been living vicariously through historical fiction since she was a young girl. Her all time favorite book is Shogun by James Clavel. One of her writing goals is to be as historically and archaeologically as accurate as possible. Every object she describes in her novels, including jewelry, dishes, furniture and glassware, are actually in museums all over the worlds. In her other life she is an RN with many years of nursing experience and presently works in an Endoscopy Unit. Learn more about Renee by visiting her website and blog at http://www.reneeyancy.com/ and http://www.reneeyancy.blogspot.com/.