What is this excerpt about?
Dr James Rutherford Morison rejected medical expectations of an earlier era and instituted antiseptic environments during and after surgery. His main point was that preventing infection was key. To achieve this, his ‘Bipp Treatment’ was a manner of cleansing the wounds as deeply as possible with a chemical paste (Bipp). He claimed that, while knowledge of bacteria and anatomy were both important, few doctors in the war would be expert in both. So, destroying the unwanted micro-organisms inside the victim and preventing others from gaining entrance, would seriously increase the life chances of the patient. As Morison wrote, having a clever surgeon in the operating theatre wasn’t as important as having a careful one.
Who wrote this book?
Professor Morison studied medicine at Edinburgh University and joined the Royal College of Surgeons in 1889. He had already published An Introduction to Surgery several years before the First World War allowed him to gain more expertise in trying to correct physical trauma caused on the battlefield. Specifically, he focused on pelvic and abdominal injuries, writing books about them in 1915 and again in 1924. His surgical training manual was well-respected by the British Medical Association. He died in Newcastle, in 1939.
- Article by:
- Julie Anderson
- Race, empire and colonial troops, Life as a soldier
World War One created thousands of casualties from physical wounds, illness, and emotional trauma. Dr Julie Anderson reflects on the subsequent impact on the role of doctors and nurses, and the medical treatment, organisation and new technologies that they employed.