Medical Hygiene

Human Element
Deaths in British Army Hospitals: 1812-1815
Life in the British Navy
Napoleonic Surgery
Medical Hygiene
Medical Evacuations
"The Flying Ambulance"
Baron Dominique-Jean Larrey
Bonaparte's Demise
British Medical Services

Hygiene was horrible in every army and the lack of it was a reason for disease!

    Hygiene in the Napoleonic Wars was simply horrible.   Hospitals and treatment stations were overcrowded, poorly ventilated, and filthy.  Few if any soldiers had any basic knowledge or idea of hygiene and no thought was given to sterilization.
    Surgeons would often reuse the same scalpel, saw, or set of needles patient after patient.   If they washed their hands, the bowl which they did it in would often become as dirty as the instruments involved in the surgery.  There is no question why disease was so prevalent.
    There were no effective disinfectants and the surgeon's apron served as a place on to which wipe their hands.   No wonder why germs loved it; those disgusting places were often ideal breeding grounds for various types of germs!

Napoleon touching Plague victim

March 2005

Term Project
Abraham Schreier
Mr. Crowley
Honors World History
March 2005