Speaker: Mr Tom Scotland (University of Aberdeen; NHS Grampian)

In 1914, abdominal wounds were managed expectantly, without surgical intervention, and the majority of patients died. By 1915, early operative treatment was introduced by pioneering surgeons to try to combat the heavy loss of life. It was realised that early deaths, within a few hours of wounding, were caused by haemorrhage, while later deaths were caused by sepsis.

Early surgical intervention was of paramount importance in improving the prognosis of these wounds. Thus, during the 3rd Battle of Ypres in 1917, three casualty clearing stations were positioned within 5 miles of the front line, with well qualified surgeons to perform the surgery and dedicated nurses to care for the wounded. This talk explores their experiences.