The US Sanitary Commission has been working since 1861 and until 1879. Basically, it was an important civilian organization that was authorized by the federal government to provide the Union volunteer forces with the necessary medical and sanitary assistance during the Civil War in America. After the end of this war, this organization continued its work to help servicemen and their family members file claims for pensions, back payments, and other basic benefits. Besides, this commission oversaw the publication of different stories for its important war work.
When it comes to the Civil War in America, there were endless medical advances that helped people and saved their lives. When this war started, this time period was called as the end of the Middle Ages in medicine. That’s because many American physicians had only little knowledge of the preventions and causes of different infections and diseases before that. The Army Medical Department was responsible for the right case of wounded and ill people in the North, but it wasn’t well-prepared to complete this basic tasks. Almost all doctors were experienced in solving the health problems of military outposts, but they didn’t know how to handle large-scale logistical and medical issues.
The worst thing is that this war started only a few years before the discovery of the role played by germs in infections made by Louis Pasteur, so many doctors used to dug all kinds of bullet fragments out with their dirty fingers and operated with unwashed instruments because of the lack of clean water. According to their reports, they had to operate in old stained coats and used unsterile instruments from the lined cases that were not disinfected properly. If some of them felt on the floor, they were washed with water and used at clean again.
Then doctors started to understand that diseases were the greatest killers. To solve the above-mentioned problems, the government of the US made an important decision to introduce the US Sanitary Commission in 1861, and it was headed by Olmstead. It was responsible for building proper hospitals, providing enough clean water and food, encouraging women to serve as nurses, and so on. Another major problem that this civilian organization had to solve was the large number of wounded soldiers who needed to be removed from battlefields.
The US Sanitary Commission has been working since 1861 and until 1879. Basically, it was an important civilian organization that was authorized by the federal government to provide the Union volunteer forces with the necessary medical and sanitary assistance during the Civil War in America.