Hi guys, does anyone know of any good resources for first aid/ basic medicines used during the mid 15th century?
Re: 15th century first aid/ medicine
Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:49 am
by Brother Ranulf
"First Aid" as we understand it today grew out of the mobilization of female locals to tend the wounded at the battle of Solferino in 1859; they were organised into units and issued with dressings and other equipment.
Prior to that time medical care was more like "Fifth Aid", with accident or battle casualties often left untended for hours or days before receiving any treatment - and nobody was standing by with stretchers and rolls of bandages on medieval battlefields (although if you go back to the Roman Empire there had been a corps of surgeons and field medics based on Greek ideas).
Surgery was mainly available to the nobility, while the masses of common troops had to fend for themselves; for a taste of the kinds of surgery available in your period try this overview of some medical manuscripts of the time: http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/month/may2006.html
Bloodletting (just what you need when you are already weak from blood loss), cauterisation and removing limbs were the general answers to most major wounds. If you got blood poisoning, you would die slowly and in agony.