Bipp Treatment of War Wounds


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.

Full title:
Bipp Treatment of War Wounds by Rutherford Morison
Book / Drawing
Rutherford Morison
Held by
British Library

Full catalogue details

Related articles

How would it feel to be a wounded soldier?

Article by:
Emily Mayhew
Life as a soldier, Wounding and medicine

Dr Emily Mayhew follows a wounded soldier from the battlefield to the hospital, explaining how stretcher-bearers, surgeons and nurses would help him recover and adjust to his new life.

Wounding in World War One

Article by:
Julie Anderson
Life as a soldier, Race, empire and colonial troops, Wounding and medicine

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.

Medical developments in World War One

Article by:
Louise Bell
Wounding and medicine

The scale of the fighting during World War One as well as the kinds of injuries sustained meant that doctors and scientists had to develop new ways of treating patients. Louise Bell looks at some of the key medical technologies that emerged during the war.

Related collection items