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[295] very great. During the first eighteen months of the war, reports of surgical operations performed were not made by the surgeons, and no record exists of their nature and number. But such reports for the remainder of the war were very complete. They show, of ordinary accidents such as might occur in civil life, including burns and scalds, contusions, sprains, dislocations, fractures, incised and punctured wounds (not made by weapons of war), and poisoning, a total of 171,565 cases, with 3,025 deaths. Early in 1862, the aggressive movement of troops vacated a large number of rough barracks which they had previously occupied. Advantage was taken to fit them up hastily as hospitals to receive the sick removed from the troops thus taking the field. Generally speaking, none were wholly satisfactory for their new purpose, either from site, sanitary condition, arrangement, or construction. Nor were even water supply and sewage facilities always suitable. Toward the close of the first year of the war, the medical department, backed by the Sanitary Commission, urged the importance of building in advance well-planned hospitals, constructed on the pavilion principle, instead of waiting until emergency existed and then occupying hotels and other buildings poorly adapted for use as hospitals. The work of constructing such hospitals was shortly begun. As these were not intended to be permanent structures and were generally frame buildings of a simple character, the work of their construction could be rapidly accomplished. As an example of the rapidity of such work, the contractor for the Satterlee Hospital, in Philadelphia, agreed to construct it, with a capacity of twenty-five hundred beds, in forty days. Work was not entirely completed at the expiration of the contract period, but so much had been accomplished that its organization was begun by the surgeon in command on the very date specified. This hospital was subsequently expanded to a capacity of thirty-five hundred beds.


 

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1862 AD (2)
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