This 1957 black and white film explains setting up improvised emergency hospitals during a crisis. “Lease of Life – The Civil Defense Improvised Emergency Hospital” is by Major Films for the New York State Civil Defense Commission, Office of Medical Defense, Office of Public Health Education, Herman E. Hilleboe, M.D. Commissioner. The film begins with a rotating radar antenna scanning the sky for enemy aircraft with nuclear weapons. A man watches the scan on a screen. Men and women wearing Civil Defense armbands wear headsets (:20-1:00). Stretchers are unloaded at a hospital (1:38-1:52); but in the event of an attack, additional temporary hospitals are needed. The four essentials are diagrammed: a building, supplies and equipment, people, and a plan, shown as the “Manual on Establishing the Improvised Emergency Hospital” (2:53-3:33). Children dressed in 1950s clothing walk out of school past school buses (3:34-3:45). A room full of supplies and equipment is one of 200 stockpiled by New York (3:46-4:08). People are needed: Shown is a doctor performing surgery in a warehouse, a man wearing a Civil Defense Medical armband takes a man’s temperature, and two women work on a medical machine (4:09-4:42). The divisions and section of an improvised emergency hospital are diagrammed. (4:43-5:10). The Surgical Division should be set up first. The triage section, located in a hallway, shows people on litter cots. The doctor assesses who should be treated first (5:11-6:00). Critical patients are taken to the shock room to be prepped for surgery and post-op. Shown are oxygen therapy equipment, a gastric suction pump, a tracheotomy set up, and a hand-operated suction apparatus. Drugs are also available (6:01-7:10). The operating room is immediately set up with tables and lights, and the implements sterilized. Various sets of medical instruments and medical equipment are shown (7:11-8:40). Electrical equipment includes operating lights, suction and pressure apparatus, and the electro-surgical units. A portable electric distribution system provides power from the generator (8:41-9:09). A diagram is shown of the operating room layout and the stockroom (9:10-10:02). Portable gasoline stoves provide heated water (10:03-10:18). The Ward-Treatment Division is diagrammed. Litter cots can be stacked three high if needed (10:19-11:20). The complete diagram is shown (11:21-11:40). Minor treatment surgical instruments are shown (11:41-12:12). The Technical Services Division is diagrammed (12:54-13:08). Instruments are sterilized by hand, using portable autoclaves operated by gasoline stoves, and boiling water sterilizers (13:09-14:15). Two types of x-ray services will be available: a portable fluoroscope and a z-ray, a mobile zero radiography unit, shown pulled by a Buick Roadmaster Sedan and in use (14:16-15:39). Laboratory jars and blood collection tubes are shown (15:40-15:55). The Administrative Services Division is diagrammed (15:56-17:09). A pharmacy maintains the drugs inventory (17:10-17:35). Buildings designated to become temporary hospitals are assessed in advance. Sample floor plans are created, diagrammed, and posted. The example is a school being used (18:08-20:52). All boxes are labeled for ease of unloading and placing in the designated rooms. Instructions are packed with the equipment (20:52-23:15). Civilians receive civil defense emergency hospital training (24:13-24:50).
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com