|Place||Asia: Burma Thailand Railway|
|Object type||Black & white - Film copy negative|
Second World War, 1939-1945
Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
This item is in the Public Domain
Burma or Thailand. 1945. A partially healed tropical ulcer on the shin of an Allied prisoner of ...
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)