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39

I believe this is as much sociological as medical. Terms such as 'shell shock' or 'battle fatigue' were used from at least WWI - it was believed that shelling actually 'shocked' the brain - but there was far less understanding of, or sympathy for, the effect war could have on men (women were not generally involved in actual combat). The term 'NMF' was ...


22

The first example of catapulting plague victims into a besieged city was that of Caffa (Modern day Feodosia) in the Crimea. This was in fact the first account of plague in European history. Caffa had been under siege by the Mongol (aka. Tartar or Golden Horde) army. The siege had been long a protracted. First starting in 1343, it was lifted by the arrival ...


17

Your main question has been pretty well answered, but I'd like to clarify a few points: If the attackers had plague victims to toss over the wall, it means they were also exposed to the plague. Which might adversely affect their ability to maintain the siege. Even an extremely virulent plague like the Black Death only killed something like a third to ...


17

The "white plague" refers to tuberculosis. The incident, which captured the nation's imagination for one day, is described by this report from the Grizzly Bear Magazine, April 1914: 4000-MILE HIKE TO NATIONAL CAPITAL The Pacific Coast has done much to attract the attention of the world, but one of the most unique things that has been formulated ...


15

The Ancient Egyptians were pretty much aware of the general mechanics of childbirth. The earliest source I could find is one of the Kahun Papyri, the Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus (~1850 BC). It deals with women's health, including pregnancy, fertility, menstrual issues and medical contraception. This last issue, contraception, is the more revealing of the ...


15

The term PTSD was invented in the 1980s by the medical discipline of psychiatry. The condition which the term PTSD refers to was well known to people from antiquity under various names with different meanings specific to those societies ( http://io9.com/5898560/from-irritable-heart-to-shellshock-how-post-traumatic-stress-became-a-disease ). The matter is ...


14

Found him. He was Justus Friedrich Carl Hecker (1795 – 1850), doctor and professor at the Frederick William University in Berlin. His essay on the plague was "Der schwarze Tod im vierzehnten Jahrhundert: Nach den Quellen für Ärzte und gebildete Nichtärzte bearbeitet." According to the Wikipedia he is the founder of the study of the history of disease. Note ...


13

Because the medical profession was opposed to it. Roosevelt's administration feared that including the universal health insurance provisions would kill the entire Social Security Act. For the sake of passing the Social Security bill, we postponed the introduction of the bill on health insurance as the opposition was so great from the American Medical ...


12

Here are some methods that were used throughout history to fight infection. Australian Aborigines discovered that eucalyptus and tea tree bark and leaves could ease certain infections. Other aboriginal societies used local herbs to help ease the symptoms of infection. This was typically tribal knowledge passed down through generations of healers. As ...


10

The oldest human could still live to be over 100 just as they do today. This was of course much rarer. Here's some data from the University of Texas on the matter. Infant Mortality by that page was 31.9% considerably worse than even the worst of the world 60 years ago. This was skewed by infanticide and such.


10

Expanding on @MonsterTruck's comment above, China (especially the east part) is really good for food production. According to Wikipedia's list of countries by agricultural output China has 17 per cent of global agricultural production today, compared to around 7 for the European Union, 7 for India and 4 for the United States. I would expect the construction ...


10

The original association between the snake and medicine is from the Greek god of healing, Asclepius. I put an image of the "Rod of Asclepius" below. However, the Rod of Asclepius became confused with the symbol of another Greek god, the Caduceus of Hermes (also pictured below). The Caduceus has been used as the symbol of medicine in the U.S. since the late ...


9

"Taking a vomit" may have meant more generally taking something to cause vomiting, what we would call an emetic. See eg. http://thequackdoctor.com/index.php/tag/17th-century/ If you are ill it's because something is out of balance. It's a lot easier to get stuff out of a patient to adjust the balance - so the popularity of purges, emetics, bloodletting ...


9

As other's have stated, part of the reason is that it's a medical term that's only been coined in recent history. The same is true with Autism, for instance. People have always had it, but it wasn't until the 60's that the term came into use to describe what we now know as Autism. There's also another medical aspect to this as well and that's the fact that ...


8

This was kept a secret for the same reason that FDR "was careful never to be seen in [a wheelchair] in public. Great care was also taken to prevent his being portrayed by the press in a way which would highlight his disability" - the severely ill heir subverts trust in government. This is especially true of the Russian monarchy, which claimed divine right.


8

The symptoms of PTSD were first described by Herodotus when referring to Epizelus, a survivor of the 490BC Battle of Marathon, in his Histories 6.117.1-3: In this fight at Marathon there were slain of the Barbarians about six thousand four hundred men, and of the Athenians a hundred and ninety and two. Such was the number which fell on both sides; ...


7

The other issue is that because disease was not fully understood, the efficacy of this maneuver would be mixed at best. Sure, if you send plague victims over the wall, that could give the people inside of the city the plague. However, the belief at the time was that disease was caused by bad smells, and so a dead, decaying horse would have been believed to ...


7

How do you defend against the plague? You seal up any house that gets hit. This was how they controlled the plague in Milan so I'd expect other cities and fortresses took similar measures at various times. Biological Warfare was quite common in the ancient and medieval world.


7

Pre-19th century transplants are not well documented. The first possibly real human transplant was in India. It is unknown if it was successful or not: The first reasonable account is of the Indian surgeon Sushruta in the 2nd century BC, who used autografted skin transplantation in nose reconstruction rhinoplasty. Success or failure of these procedures ...


6

NASA had known experimentally what near weightlessness felt like at least since 1959, when the famous "Vomit Comet" had enabled humans to experience the condition for up to 25 seconds at a time. This plane followed a nearly parabolic flight path to produce the sensation of weightlessness. Hence there was no reason before the first human spaceflight to ...


6

Castro make the cuban medical system the showcase of socialist success. He prepared the educational system to make more medical. See chart at the end source. In fact the export of cuban medical is a one of the big business Castro made. For example in the case of Angola and Venezuela where you can find a big amount of cuban medical the gov of these country ...


6

Yes, there may be "soldiers" considered neutral - even if they are members of armed forces, provided that their sole duty was medical aid for the wounded ("ambulances"). The seminal document is the "initial" Geneva Convention 1864 ("Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field"), initiated by Henry Dunant, after the ...


6

Acne has always been with us. According to "The Historic Panorama of Acne Vulgaris," Pharaohs had acne: Some Egyptian writings have mentioned that Pharaohs suffered from acne and had also made efforts to resolve it. Many stories and superstitious beliefs were related to the cause, clinical presentation and treatment of the acne breakouts. Those ...


6

In addition to other factors mentioned by Samuel Russel and TheHonRose, there might be one purely "technical" factor. I'm not an expert, I've only stumbled upon this one article saying that there is evidence of actual brain damage from explosions: Combat veterans' brains reveal hidden damage from IED blasts The brains of some Iraq and Afghanistan ...


6

In olden days, there was very little toleration for queasiness or mental instability under fire. For example, this is a quote from a British military manual published in 1804: The cowardice, or irregular behaviour of one or two men, is enough to put a whole battalion in danger. A soldier that quits his rank, or offers to fly, is to be instantly put ...


6

The relevant regulation (mainly the first) in WW1 would appear to be: Geneva Convention (1906) Article 9 of the 1906 Geneva Convention provides: The personnel charged exclusively with the removal, transportation, and treatment of the sick and wounded, as well as with the administration of sanitary formations and establishments … shall be respected and ...


5

China is the world's third largest country in size, after Russia and Canada. The latter two are further north, much colder, and less hospitable to population growth. China is one of the world's oldest civilizations. Others, such as Egypt, Babylon, and even India are much smaller in size. The combination of large land area (in a mostly temperate climate) ...


5

Though interpretation is always imperfect, many would use folios from the Florentine Codex as direct evidence for mushroom use among Aztecs, and probably Mesoamericans broadly. Here is the prime piece of evidence: A mushroom is depicted, and given the name "Teonanacatl" An Aztec man sits on a mat that is known to be a ceremonial object. The man is ...


5

I'm not sure that this was all that common as a means of overtaking a besieged castle. Perhaps more than anything else, it was intended to have a psychological effect on the occupants. As for how they defended themselves, quite honestly they couldn't. The most common means of handling this was to designate individuals who were responsible for gathering the ...


5

Thomas Nashe's 1592 work Pierce Penilesse, His Supplication to the Divell implies a use of wigs to hide the indications of venereal disease: "Men and women that have gone under the South pole, must lay off their furde night-caps in spight of their teeth, and become yeomen of the vineger bottle: a close periwig hides al the sinnes of an olde ...



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