treatment

Photo of the Day

Sir Harold Delf Gillies (17 June 1882 ? 10 September 1960) was a New Zealand-born, and later London-based, otolaryngologist who is widely considered the father of plastic surgery. The horrific new injuries that came with the First World War led to the pioneering work in plastic surgery by Harold Gillies, a special kind of war hero.

Sir Harold Delf Gillies (17 June 1882 ?- 10 September 1960) was a New Zealand-born, and later London-based, otolaryngologist who is widely considered the father of plastic surgery. The horrific new injuries that came with the First World War led to the pioneering work in plastic surgery by Harold Gillies, a special kind of war hero.

How do you Fix a Face That?s Been Blown Off by Shrapnel?

While the emotional repercussions of war aren’t easy to measure, photos of soldiers who went home injured after WWI tell a pretty unsettling story

Warning Some Images Maybe Disturbing.

Over a million soldiers died in World War One, and double that amount went home injured. For many of those lucky enough to return, the wounds they had suffered in Europe would leave them permanently disfigured.

The trenches protected the bodies of soldiers, but in doing so it left their heads vulnerable to enemy fire. Soldiers would frequently stick their heads up above the trenches, exposing them to all manner of weapons.

At the start of the war, little consideration was given to the trauma of facial injuries. It came as something of a surprise that so many victims survived to the point of treatment. Escaping the war with your life was seen as reward enough. The advent of plastic surgery would radically change that perception.

The biggest killer on the battlefield and the cause of many facial injuries was shrapnel. Unlike the straight-line wounds inflicted by bullets, the twisted metal shards produced from a shrapnel blast could rip a face off.

Not only that, but the shrapnel’s shape would often drag clothing and dirt into the wound. Improved medical care meant that more injured soldiers could be kept alive, but urgently dealing with such devastating injuries was a new challenge.

Harold Gillies was the man the British Army tasked with fixing these grisly wounds. Born in New Zealand, he studied medicine at Cambridge before joining the British Army Medical Corps at the outset of World War One.

Gillies was shocked by the injuries he saw in the field, and requested that the army set up their own plastic surgery unit.

Warning Some Images Maybe Disturbing.

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Photo Of The Day

Government inquiries condemned the study as unethical and new policies were enacted. The U.S. paid $10 million in a class-action lawsuit to study participants and their descendants. PHOTO CREDIT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

Government inquiries condemned the study as unethical and new policies were enacted. The U.S. paid $10 million in a class-action lawsuit to study participants and their descendants.
PHOTO CREDIT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Historically,?African-Americans, Native Americans and other minorities have been excluded from clinical trials that seek to uncover risk factors for disease and offer life-saving new treatments. The infamous federally funded Tuskegee syphilis experiment?shut down in 1972?denied treatment to hundreds of African-American men suffering from the disease.

The?Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment?was conducted by government funded?researchers?from the Tuskegee Institute?between 1932 and 1972 in Macon County, Alabama to examine the progression of syphilis in poor African-American men.?When?penicillin was discovered as an effective medication for the disease in 1947, researchers refused to administer it, choosing instead to continue the study. In 1972, journalist Jean Heller broke the story and an enraged public forced the researchers to put an end to the study.?Government inquiries condemned the study as unethical and in 1973,?a class-action lawsuit was?filed on behalf of the study participants. In 1974, a $10 million settlement was reached, and all living participants were promised lifetime medical benefis by the U.S. government.

Early in the twentieth century, the medical community was practically helpless in its battle against syphilis. The crippling affliction was spreading at an alarming rate in certain areas, particularly among the poorer segments of the world population. Even for those who could afford medical care, the only known treatments rivaled the disease itself in the harm they did to sufferers.

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