New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy
Besides the routine administrative conferences, medical and surgical conferences were held in the Middle East Force during this period. A surgical conference was held in March 1943 during which the experiences of war surgery and other surgical problems were exchanged, and this resulted in the laying down of some general regulations for the future, for example, the operative procedure recommended for primary amputation of the limbs. Another surgical conference was held in July, coinciding with the visit of two consultants from South Africa, who gave valuable information as to the late results observed in hospitals in South Africa following surgical treatment in the Middle East Force. A medical conference was held in April at which it was stated that 550 out of every 1000 men were admitted to hospital at least once a year.
A special conference, at which our Corps was well represented, was held at Tripoli in August to discuss the results of the experimental treatment by penicillin of recent war wounds from the Sicilian campaign. The conference was presided over by Professor H. Florey, who had come from England with Brigadier H. Cairns to superintend the investigation. Resulting from the trials came the free and increasing use of penicillin during the Italian campaign.