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War Surgery and Medicine

Spanish Civil War

Spanish Civil War

The Spaniards developed the Winnett Orr treatment of closed plaster for war wounds, and it became the recognised treatment for all limb wounds.

page 6

It depended for its success on complete immobilisation of the limb by encasing it in plaster, joint or muscle movement thus being prevented. The wound was excised and freely opened up, vaseline gauze and then a complete plaster splint was applied, and the limb was left undressed for ten days or more, when a fresh dressing and fresh plaster splint were applied It was found that severe infections rarely occurred, and that the wound became clean and slowly healed under the plaster. There was a great saving of nursing and dressings. The treatment was well written up by Trueta and Jolly, and knowledge of its benefits was widespread at the beginning of the Second World War. The Carrel-Dakin treatment had been displaced.