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War Surgery and Medicine


THE work which may be undertaken by the laboratory of a General Hospital can be classified as follows:


From Hospital In patients: This is similar to the work done in any public hospital in New Zealand, for all laboratory facilities must be available to the sick soldier. In addition there will be extra bacteriological and transfusion work from battle casualties and work related to the tropical or other diseases endemic and epidemic to the area. Details are given below.


From Hospital Outpatients: A base hospital often made its specialists available in outpatient clinics to the units encamped in the neighbourhood and some work from this source fell to the laboratory.


From the ‘Area’: This would include water and milk analyses from camps in the area; investigation of outbreaks of food poisoning; material from RAPs and station sick quarters; the doing of serological tests from VD treatment centres, etc.


Transfusion Work: It was found better to have the servicing of apparatus, preparation of solutions and maintenance of the blood bank under care of the laboratory; in some hospitals the Pathologist bled the donors and supervised actual transfusions.


Research Work: An enormous amount of material from the sick, from battle casualties, and from epidemics was received by laboratories: there is considerable opportunity for research which may produce valuable results—but adequate staff is essential.