Burma or Thailand. 1945. A partially healed tropical ulcer on the shin of an Allied prisoner of war (POW). Often the shin bones and sinews were totally exposed. The only truly beneficial medication ...

Accession Number P01433.028
Collection type Photograph
Title Burma or Thailand. 1945. A partially healed tropical ulcer on the shin of an Allied prisoner of war (POW). Often the shin bones and sinews were totally exposed. The only truly beneficial medication ...
Object types Black & white - Film copy negative
Copyright Copyright expired - public domain

Burma or Thailand. 1945. A partially healed tropical ulcer on the shin of an Allied prisoner of war (POW). Often the shin bones and sinews were totally exposed. The only truly beneficial medication was iodiform, which was only obtainable in minute quantities. Many substitutes were tried: eusol, condys crystal, saline solution, raw salt packed into the wound, lysol, hot rice poultices and even maggots were introduced into these festering sores. Perhaps the most heartrending treatment was the curettage of the ulcers, using a sharpened spoon. Apart from diet deficiencies, the high rate of tropical ulcers could be attributed to the lack of footwear and protective clothing. At the fifty five kilometre "hospital" in Burma, Lieutenant Colonel A. Coates carried out 110 amputations. Of these only forty survived. At the fifty kilometre "hospital" in Burma, only four amputee patients survived out of forty cases. Similar problems occurred along the Thailand section of the railway. (Donor B. Theobald)

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