15th century first aid/ medicine

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15th century first aid/ medicine

Post by Bronzeadin »

Hi guys, does anyone know of any good resources for first aid/ basic medicines used during the mid 15th century?
Many thanks

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Brother Ranulf
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Re: 15th century first aid/ medicine

Post 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:

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.

This is a list of medical manuscripts that would have been known and used:
https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/sites/defau ... ection.pdf
Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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Henri De Ceredigion
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Re: 15th century first aid/ medicine

Post by Henri De Ceredigion »

Other "cures" included:

* The burning of chicken feathers to bring around a person who had fainted
* Treacle for insomnia
* Hair washed in the "number one" of a child for ringworm

(Source: Horrible Histories)

Actually that said, they did make the accurate observation that Arabic medicine was much better (and actually did what it was supposed to do) during the Crusades

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Re: 15th century first aid/ medicine

Post by Thalion »

I can vouch for the of course proper technique of amputation, it really does work wonders to remove the current aliment from the body! It works....

Brother of the Hospitallers, Thalion.
Brother of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.

Ordinis Hospitalis Sancti Johannis Jerusalem
Ava Crux Alba

Marcus Woodhouse
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Re: 15th century first aid/ medicine

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Personally I recommend the steeped urine of a ginger haired boy for reviving a patient from a faint.

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Re: 15th century first aid/ medicine

Post by fh28 »

Have seen some very good charts of wounds to the medieval man, urine charts and astrological chart to each part of the body. Does anyone know where I could get copies of them?

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Bryan of Skirbeck
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Re: 15th century first aid/ medicine

Post by Bryan of Skirbeck »

Pete Green makes "The Doctors Book" which has several pictures in it, inc. the wound man and a urine chart -


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