Military Hospital

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Thu 9 Feb 2012 23:47
Royal Hospital of Our Lady Guadalupe



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Steve, Maggie and Trooper arrived just before Bear got back from the grocery store, we all had lunch on his return and went for an ice cream before doing our daily “touristy thing”, today the Spanish Military Hospital Museum.


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Exhibits are aimed at the care a patient would have had in 1791. 


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No women were allowed in the main building of the hospital but if their husband was dying he was moved to the first room - the Mourning Room. The staff would ring the bell that alerted the local priest to come and deliver extreme unction. The wife was allowed to stay with her husband until the final breath, then ushered out and given twenty four hours to arrange removal of the body for funeral.


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The Ward: Strict regulations dictated by the Government of Spain defined medical care in the Royal Hospital. The comfortable beds were changed by the male orderlies, sheets were washed once a week. Lavender was used to keep the room smelling pleasant. Patients who were not calm were frequently ‘bled’. Chicken stew was prescribed for just about everything with lashings of hot chocolate. Care and attention was of a very good standard and the survival rate was high at around 75%, quite something in those days.


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 The tool table: shows (from top left) a bleeder, trepanning tool, blood letting hammer, an artery hook, saw and amputation knife, tourniquet and strap. Bullet removing forceps, tooth priser and extractor. Forceps and wound probe. Penny for skull bone replacement. Wooden board, hammer and chisel for swift removal of infected fingers (they were quick to do this for any digit injury as they were well aware of gangrene.

Spanish medical education in the 15th and 16th centuries was highly formalised, modeled on the curriculum of the University of Salamanca founded by King Alfonso IX in 1218, which began training physicians in 1252. Medical education became available at a number of institutions, such as the University of Valencia (1500), Seville (1508) and Alcala de Henares (1510). Alcala trained the bulk of physicians who formed the professional elite in New Spain after 1570.
To begin the academic study of medicine in Spain, a candidate needed a Bachelor’s degree in arts acquired after four years of university study. Next he needed four years of medical curriculum based on lectures and commentaries on writings of various ancient and medieval authorities. After this a six month internship was completed. This was extended to two years in 1563. Then came testing and licensing before being allowed to practice.
Medical history in the U.S. began with the founding of St Augustine in 1565. Menendez brought with him two surgeons, a boticario (apothecary – also trained) with a chest of medicines and five barber surgeons. These barber surgeons were seen for minor cuts, bleeding, finger removal etc..
The first hospital was set up in St Augustine in 1597. 

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The Surgeon’s Office



1750 – First dissection performed for medical students


1751 – The Philadelphia Hospital opened


1765 -  Medical degree available in Philadelphia


1775 – 3500 practicing physicians, less than 300 received medical degrees


1783 – The first medical school was Harvard College


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A Show Globe was used as displays in the front windows of Victorian drug stores. It was said that if you entered a town with green water in the globe all was well, if red water showed there was disease spreading and to enter with caution.



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The Apothecary: Only staff members with training were allowed to dispense medicines



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Other displays

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