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During World War I there were many ’firsts’ and research on male soldiers allowed for the following developments in clincial care:

  • successful use of blood transfusions in resuscitation

  • the management of open, contaminated wounds by delayed closure

  • blood banking

  • an improved understanding of ’shock’

     "The protection of the wounded man against conditions which would develop or increase shock offers, we believe, the greatest hope for his recovery." [2]

  • motorized ambulances were first introduced for emergency transport.


Care of civilian trauma patients is thought to have been first introduced in Austria in 1925 [1], it was initially designed to treat work-related injuries and then expanded to include all injuries.



1. Trunkey, D.D. (2000). "History and Development of Trauma Care in the United States." Clin Orthop 1 (374): 36-46.

2. Cannon, W.B. (1918). "The Preventive Treatment of Wound Shock." Journal of A.M.A. 70(9): 618-621.

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