I spent 2 hours in the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and found it very, very interesting. I am not a Civil War buff, but I DO enjoy information about the history of healthcare. There are two floors and many rooms of information... regarding the medicines, doctors, nurses, and field hospitals that were utilized during the Civil War. I learned about the many homeopathic and pharmaceutical medicines that were used to "cure" everything from diarrhea to gangrene. One myth that was debunked was that "most surgeries and amputations were done with "no anesthesia. In actuality, 95% of such surgeries were done with the assistance of chloroform or ether. It was fascinating to see the surgical instruments that were used...a bit crude for present day, but somewhat effective at the time. Many lives were saved due to the heroic efforts of the medical personnel during that time...this museum honors those doctors, nurses, and emergency medical personnel (both white and black) who risked their own lives to try to save the soldiers from battle injuries and disease. There was also a section that provided follow-up information on survivors of horrific battle injuries...how they were treated...what their injuries looked like...and what contributions they made after they healed from their wounds. If you think you would enjoy learning about the pharmaceutical products and surgical tools of the Civil War, then you will enjoy your time at this museum. If you are a nurse, doctor, or EMT, you will also love it here! And kids old enough to read will be fascinated by the amputations, surgical tools, and grotesque treatments of the 19th Century.
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