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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Review of Operations

Review of Operations

The ADMS 2 NZ Division, Colonel Ardagh, in an operational report, commented that for the first time in the war the New Zealand medical services had been able to operate under favourable conditions with a normal line of evacuation and regular channels of supply of equipment and reinforcements. Each ambulance had been complimented independently by 14 British CCS and the base hospitals on the excellent state in which the wounded arrived. This was due to the following factors: rapid evacuation, not only from MDS to base hospital, but from the battlefield to the surgical operating tables in the MDS; the performance of surgery as far page 350 forward as possible; the wide use of blood transfusion; immobilisation of fractures in plaster; sulphanilamide therapy locally and internally; sterilised vaseline gauze bandages; and the ability of ambulance medical officers to perform major surgical operations.

Colonel Ardagh also pointed out that although battle conditions, frequent moves, and uncertainty made routine administration awkward there had been no real difficulties. This was to a large extent due to good medical liaison between DMS 2 NZEF and ADMS 2 NZ Division, and frequent and full contact between ADMS, DADMS, and the officers commanding the field ambulances and ADSs, as well as with RMOs. The work of the RMOs, as in the past, had been magnificent. Field ambulances had given outstanding service and had met periods of heavy pressure with resolve and determination. Their service was as generous as it was efficient and allcomers, irrespective of origin, received the same treatment as New Zealanders, as was only to be expected of medical units.