Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Traveling Tuesday: Medical Treatment During WWII

Traveling Tuesday: 
Medical Treatment During WWII

With war comes the need for medical facilities. The main character in War’s Unexpected Gift, is Gwen Milford, a nurse in an Evacuation Hospital that starts out in Belgium, then moves into Germany as the Allies gain ground in Europe (loosely based on the 96th Evac Hospital). During my research, I learned about the U.S. system of care and the intricate logistics that ensured efficient and effective patient treatment.

Casualties were given emergency treatment at a series of medical installations. Clearing Stations, Field Hospitals, Evacuation Hospitals, Convalescent Hospitals, and Surgical Hospitals were established in combat zones. General Hospitals, Station Hospitals, Hospital Centers, and Convalescent Camps and Centers were set up in what was referred to as the Zone of Interior and the Communication Zones.

Clearing Stations (AKA Dressing Stations) are located just beyond the front lines and perform triage and immediate care to stabilize the individual.

Field Hospitals: are usually located from three to eight miles from the front line, depending upon enemy range of fire, the roads, fuel, water, the presence of buildings, and the location of Evacuation Hospitals. Whenever possible, they were grouped in a village or at an intersection of roads for the convenience of ambulances and movement of patients.

Evacuation Hospitals: are mobile units designed to provide facilities for major medical and surgical
treatments as well as the beginning of a definite treatment for the individual, the sorting of casualties, the return of men fit for duty sooner rather than later, and for extended evacuation of certain patients to General Hospitals. There were two types of evac hospitals: 400-bed semi-mobile and 750-bed mobile.

Surgical Hospitals: were also mobile units as far forward as practicable that provided major surgical procedures for serious injury cases. They occasionally served as substitutes for evac hospitals in the case of emergency.

General Hospitals: were facilities located in the rear of the theatre with a capacity of up to 2,000 patients, although half that was the norm. Once situated, a General Hospital remained in that location and performed the most difficult and specialized procedures.

Station Hospitals: were typically located at posts, camps, and stations for hospitalization of local personnel. Housed in buildings their bed capacities ranged from 25-900.

Drawn by Pfc. Don J. Anders in 1945
Map of the route taken by the 96th Evac
Hospital Centers: were comprised of a headquarters and service company, central laboratory, and convalescent camp. All were housed in permanent or temporary buildings if in the Zone of Interior, and in tents with concrete floors in Communication Zones.

During the early months of 1942, many hospital units were sent overseas from Australia to the Central Pacific and from Northern Ireland and England to Iceland. By March of 1943, 140 stations, 27 general hospitals, 14 field hospitals, 2 convalescent hospitals, 3 surgical hospitals, and 23 evacuation hospitals were overseas. By 1945, there were and additional 189 general hospitals, 74 field hospitals, 61 station hospitals, 35 field hospitals, and 8 station hospitals creating a peak of 335,000 foxed beds and about 87,000 mobile beds in all theaters.


War’s Unexpected Gift (Part of A Merry Heart Anthology)

Love and war don’t mix. Or do they?

Eager to do even more for the war effort, nurse Gwen Milford puts in for a transfer from a convalescent hospital outside of London to an evac hospital headed across Europe. Leap-frogging from one location to the next, nothing goes as expected from stolen supplies to overwhelming numbers of casualties. Then, there’s the handsome doctor who seems to be assigned to her every shift. As another Christmas approaches without the war’s end, can she find room in her heart for love?

Experience the magic of Christmas in this heartwarming anthology featuring ten talented authors, as they weave enchanting tales of clean and Christian romance. Delight in the spirit of the season, where love, faith, and miracles come together to create unforgettable holiday moments. 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3QJjlF8

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