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tv   Reel America Army Medical Laboratories - 1947  CSPAN  April 4, 2020 10:55pm-11:36pm EDT

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in a way those of the men who died alongside him have not? consider theseto questions because his incorporations into the story of the american revolution was not a foregone conclusion. it was part of a campaign to construct an american hero. announcer: learn more about attucks this sunday on american history tv. america, armyl medical laboratories is a 1947 war department film providing an overview of systematic efforts during world war ii to heal soldiers and prevent, detect, and control epidemics. with footage from working labs, the documentary highlights training and treatment facilities across the united states and shows the capabilities of field hospitals and overseas stations.
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♪ narrator: with the american soldier goes american medicine, backing him up, with him in his advanced, in wartime and peace. the medical department carries on, fighting disease, healing and rehabilitating the sick and
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wounded, and working to search out disease vectors to prevent, detect, and control epidemics. to pursue this mission successfully, the medical department was backed up by a far-flung network of laboratories stretching from north to south, east to west. clinical, public health, and research laboratories were required everywhere. diseases new to the army doctor were being encountered. new diagnostic procedures, methods of treatment and control had to be developed and evaluated. operation and combat under extreme heat and cold produced a challenge to the medical department and its laboratories. behind this vast medical laboratory organization which followed the armies to every distant outpost on our fighting fronts were the many divisions and services of the surgeon general's office.
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although the laboratory division was concerned with every aspect of medical laboratory operation, outstanding service was contributed by other divisions of the preventative medicine service as well as the training and hospital divisions, personnel and supply services, the army medical department research and graduate school, and the army institute of pathology. these organizations represented a coordinated effort which directed the operation of the army's medical laboratories. the first job was to train field and hospital laboratory unit as well as technical personnel. alone,rseas assignments 217 general hospitals, 196 station hospitals, 91 evacuation hospitals, and 99 field hospitals had to be organized and trained. camping was conducted at berkeley, texas, camp crowder, missouri, carlisle barracks, pennsylvania, fort lewis,
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washington, and a camp in illinois. in addition to the overseas needs, hospitals and laboratory facilities in the interior had to be expanded. general hospitals increased from four to 65. 56 regional hospitals were established, 26 for army forces and 30 for army air forces. 30 station hospitals where required, 142 for the army service forces and 158 for the army air forces. there were 10 service command laboratories. the medical department was based with the job of staffing, training, and equipping these installations where their wartime response ability. enlisted personnel received training at the medical department and technician schools. located at fitzsimmons general hospital and nine other general hospitals in addition to the army medical center. these men and women became
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specialized medical laboratory technicians whose loyal and able wartime record prominent civilian schools contributed to the training. sanitary officers are scientists. that directedup multiple sections of our laboratory. they made significant contributions to research work. types ofe four laboratories. public health laboratory responsibilities were dedicated to 10 laboratories. had nine, except others
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that had a different number. served new york, new jersey, and delaware. laboratoriesommand were to supplement the otherties not provided by laboratories. ,hey investigated outbreaks inspected facilities and personnel. specialist.ed , samples aren examined. perform suchies examinations for units and other installations. technicians are searching for bacteria. it might have come from an
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epidemic of dysentery. cultures are examined. section, it was not testson to make 2000 persepolis a-day. a day.if when the reports came back, they determine the quality of the work. food for army consumption had to meet high standards. they examine milk, dairy products, and meat. some of the most interesting in itss performed chemistry and toxicology section. in instances where illness or death may have been
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questionable, bodily fluids were examined for alcohol content in the presence of metals. the service command labs with the army counterpart of health department laboratories, with broad responsibilities. the remaining three types of laboratories were primarily clinical. the general hospital, the most headete and specialized, problem cases referred from overseas. diseases, aserent wereas surgical problems, returned to the zone of interior. infectionsnd wound necessitated the use of diagnostic procedures. , andrugs had come into use
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new methods were required to determine their effectiveness. new methods had to be developed to determine drug levels and ascertain concentrations for specific infections. an additional problem in the field of tissue diagnosis, the situation was acute because of a , making of pathologist adequate staffing impossible. use of theeconomic 19hologists available, centers were established, in the larger and strategically located general hospitals. maintaineclose communication ws maintained, consultation on was providedsis
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each installation. the third type of laboratory was hospital.l providednal hospital chemical services complete in every respect. the procedures here are representative of the work done. techniciansualified to staff laboratories and hospitals, on-the-job training was given. was the station hospital lab. here the procedures performed varied greatly and was determined by the size and location of the hospital. laboratories, a small-scale service was
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provided, in addition to routine clinical pathology. ♪ >> the army medical laboratories trained and developed, and went toward to face battle conditions overseas. although constant revisions and improvisations were necessary to , thethe warfare organization is presented as a guide in one department manual. the mediterranean theater presents a good example of organization in a theater of operation. in the combat sound, the evacuation hospital laboratory provides facilities sufficient for routine pathology. in italy, the eighth evacuation hospital was equipped for includingexamination,
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blood typing and cross matching, hemoglobin determination, and malaria diagnosis. it was able to perform field examinations and tests on spinal fluid. although the manual places the field hospital in the communication sound, in the mediterranean, some were used in the combat zone. the 15th is representative of such a hospital and laboratory. assignment,f the field hospitals held their patients for short periods, the range was limited. the mobile laboratory in the field supported the field evacuation hospitals and provided facilities for other nonmedical service organizations. armyuld be assigned to an or communication zone.
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the medical laboratory is composed of headquarters and professional sections that make up a laboratory. field public health-type laboratory, it performs epidemiological studies, investigations, surveys , and is concerned with routine analyses. they are carried out for all field units requiring services. to serve these units, a system was worked out. after making rounds, the courier bring specimens to laboratory. in the chemistry section of the laboratory, beverages are being analyzed. tubes are being prepared for water analysis. laboratorymedical
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illustrates the versatility of such an installation. were undertaken. army and civilian food handlers were surveyed for pathogens. when examinations had been completed, reports are distributed by the courier. the medical laboratory maintains mobile units. headquarterss the for the study of hepatitis. these mobile units could be used to supplement services of a hospital laboratory. the medical laboratory also serves the station hospitals, located in the communication zone. the medical corps officer is devoted full-time to the laboratory and is assigned as chief of service. because definitive treatments are given, facilities are more
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complete than those in other hospitals. different examinations can be performed. pathology section provides its own specimens. the most complete facilities in the theater are in the general hospitals. patients are referred here from ,he evacuation, field, station and other hospitals for treatment. variety of clinical material necessitated a more complete laboratory. diagnosis can be made on frozen tissue. the pathologist examines the slide and can render an immediate diagnosis. tests are used for the identification of dysentery and salmonella. fever and other
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cultures,, tests, amoeba cultures, and tests for bacterial resistance to drugs can be made here. the chemistry section is prepared to perform cholesterol and other determination, in addition to other requested determinations. technique forfate a blood-specific remedy is used to assist with the management of shock. where a large concentration is required, and economy of assistance is affected by a hospital center. special responsibilities are delegated to each hospital. one general hospital performs required by all the general hospitals in the center. the 12 hospital center was composed of the 55th and other
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general hospitals. the laboratory of the 55th was superbly equipped. section is being prepared for examination. , cultures are inspected for bacterial growth. permitted labins work 24 hours a day. complete as the service was in italy and other theaters, there was needed a higher echelon laboratory to perform other examinations and investigations of important problems. this need was fulfilled but the medical general laboratory, which provided facilities comparable to the research and graduate school and the institute pathology. laboratory general was assigned to each of the four
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major theaters. the 15th was assigned to the mediterranean theater. the mission was primarily epidemiological, chemical and research proms were also investigated. the blood bank, part of the laboratory, supplied most of the blood used in the theater. these tests are being voted for truck shipment to a forward area. let's let the commanding officer describe the work. work of our unit and inse it serves is integrated the mediterranean theater of operations. that work consists of diagnostics, support and supervision of other laboratory units, epidemiological studies, and research. research has in
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therapy,ria and gangrene, shock, and jaundice. center, fieldstic and laboratory investigations is innate from the medical general laboratory by virtue of their staff in the range of equipment and supplies allotted to them. in the 15th general laboratory, research on a disease produce data on which a new concept is now based. and enlisted technicians from other laboratories were referred to the medical general laboratory for training. performingogist is an autopsy for medical officers from the clinical services and laboratory officers for training. section,ochemistry
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studies on hepatitis and the use of drugs in malaria were made. other sections also assisted in the studies. sectioneriology contributed significantly to the study of pathogens. discovered by this laboratory. as a diagnostic center, it covered tissue and clinical pathology. because of the research work , it constituted an important part of the laboratory. they did all the work making up charts and recording unusual operations and diseases peculiar to the countries. service,of courier
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hospitals and inspections of laboratory units, the 15th medical general lab was able to maintain contact with all installations in theater. maintained close communication with the surgeon general's office, the department of research and graduate school, and the institute of pathology. this was the general plan of the laboratory service. problemsparticular required detailed investigation. missions were sent out by the epidemiological board, such as italy in 1945, to investigate diphtheria. commissionyphus, a established laboratories in personneldispatched
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to europe. teams assisted in the control of the epidemic. malaria was a problem as troops moved across north africa, italy, and neighboring islands, so units were dispatched to operate with the army. activities in corsica were typical of the work. every preventive measure was used, including ddt biplanes. by airplanes. problem,as a greater areas had to be kept under observation by the control unit. the solomon islands proved a severe test for these units. they searched for mosquito vectors and determine their habitat. the men took medicine,
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repellent, and hung nets. and, every method of sprain, dusting, boiling, and training was used. typhus proved a serious disease hazard in the pacific in india burma theater. since much less was known, extensive studies had to be made of the disease in the animal hosts and insect vectors. rodents and other mammals were investigated as the animal reservoir for this disease. mice and other surface insects were studied as possible vectors. and surfaceirds parasites were undertaken. these studies added to our knowledge of typhus, but also the habits of possible vectors
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of other diseases. the study of the insect vectors of typhus involve hazards, since the disease is dangerous and occasionally carries a high mortality. field investigators had to observe strict precautions to avoid exposure. , laboratories in the pacific had more problems, but they were able to devote more time to investigate such diseases. the pacific counterpart did not differ greatly from installations active in europe, except they were modified to diagnosed these diseases. the 18th medical general , by virtuein hawaii of a trained staff in specialized equipment,
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contributed significantly to our knowledge of these diseases. the epidemiological branch worked in cooperation with the theater surgeons office. hazards weresease made after enemy forces were neutralized in an island secured, but before command was established, including an investigation of water supplies, insect vectors, and diseases current among enemy forces and native populations. such medical and sanitary surveys were made of multiple islands. they served practical, immediate, and future purposes. the 18th medical general lab was capable of extensive operations, as those required for investigation of the hawaiian influenza epidemic of 1945. the procedure for the lab diagnosis is demonstrated here.
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a special study of hayfever was required, because new hazards were encountered. pollen extracts were prepared. usedmade into solutions for diagnosis and treatment. the evaluation of ddt and other agents in the control of diseases required the development of new methods of trapping and rearing mosquitoes and other insect vectors. here, flies are raised for this purpose. these and other insects in development were subjected to new agents. back, let's stop off in puerto rico, headquarters comprising the antilles department. they are organized as departments, rather than theaters of operation, and were
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served by these labs, comparable in size and scope to the service command labs in the zone of interior. these laboratories provided the facilities of a service command lab and those of a pathologic center as well. study tests were maintained for the training of pathologist, and officers and enlisted were given on-the-job training. early in the war, malaria and dengue fever were problems in the caribbean. played anlogist important role in containing these diseases. the laboratory performed at a significant blame of surveys. in washington, the office of the surgeon general, the army medical department research and graduate school, and the institute of pathology cam came data, specimens, and reports
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from all over the world. from hawaii, report of an outbreak suspected of being influenza. cultures fromco, an outbreak of dysentery are sent in. assessment, a tissue aought positive from nicest. another disease. from panama, salmonella. onediate action is required these specimens and reports. diagnosis, information on control, and requested data are radioed to these overseas installations. to the army institute of pathology was given the job of establishing an army-like plan of diagnostic service in pathology. the institute consists of four subdivisions, pathology, the
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registry pathology, the illustration service, and the medical museum. pathologicalw of specimens is conducted by the department of pathology. when cases are received, they are sent to the preparation room , each assigned to a staff member who assumes responsibility for the case. referredary, specimens to a laboratory where microscopic slides are made. next, they are examined by pathologist and consultants. since army regulations autopsy cases before did to the institute, as well as tumors in diseases of current interest, the volume of work was staggering. over 1000 autopsy cases and 1000 surgical specimens a month or reviewed by the institute. cases are those of particular interest are studied
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under the microscope, which makes it possible to review a specimen at the same time. various species are pointed out and discussed by one or more dr.. of the doctors. they confer on a slide which might have been sent from the european or pacific theater of operations 48 hours before. the comments of doctors are recorded and later transcribed into the case record. sectionessional record takes care of the coding and analysis of this material. after all the material has been coded and filed, select cases are referred to the department pathology. also, there is a collection of studies that consists of clinical and pathological data demonstrating examples of problem diseases. such are on loan to civilian medical schools in army
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installations everywhere in the world. they represent valuable teaching material, selected from one of the largest collections of specimens assembled. the third big subdivision of the oftitute, falls the job pictorial activities. not only does the illustration filece mount, index, and the medical photographs, but acts as a central agency for the collection, separation, duplication, cataloging, and exhibition of materials pertaining to wounds, injuries, and diseases of medical military importance. it trains the medical detachments doing the same work in overseas installations. illustration teams are consummate work, making clinical pictures, drawings, recording
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the progress of diseases, and documenting new or unusual surgical techniques. these units are skilled and the still in motion picture photography, black-and-white, color, and infrared film, and fully equipped to handle other assignments, as well as other work. in addition, the illustration service is responsible for research and experimentation, and the development of new clinical and photographic techniques. these specimens and materials have been collected during the past 75 years and assembled for teaching and study. the museum is constantly expanding, with more exhibits added as data are compiled. a collection of pathological
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specimens unique in history of medicine is stored for study purposes. many specimens date back to the civil war, and much of the materials were collected in a spanish-american war in world war i. many valuable studies have been made on the material collected during world war ii, but years will be required to complete these investigations. ♪ >> to study the effects of the atomic bomb, pathologist were assigned to teams to study hiroshima and nagasaki. detailed studies were made in a section devoted only to this work. also backing up the army work wasies in their the army medical department of research and graduate school. for thousands of officers who had the opportunity to attend, they know the value of this training. in addition, a continuous
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program of on-the-job training was in progress. for students and staff, a well-stocked library was provided. the divisions of the school all contributed to the training, research, diagnostic work, and biologicals which constituted the mission. first, masks are seated with the typhoid culture. after incubation, when the growth has been obtained, it is harvested. processed to kill the organisms, then the vaccine is ball told, labeled, and inspected. important advances in the study of the virus and diseases were made at the school during the war. here, restored specimens from every part of the world, italy,
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philippines. , acultivate these agents useful medium is used to isolate viruses, maintain strains, and produce vaccines. special precautions are taken in the handling of viruses. this is in order to avoid infection of the technician. the work is conducted in cubicles. diseaseshe viruses and can be diagnosed by test two procedures. in this portion of the laboratory, tests for typhus are being made. other tests are used to differentiate different infections. during the war, many new vaccines were developed. the virus and diseases laboratory had the job of testing vaccines for potency. ocularice are being an
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inoculated for encephalitis. this functions per training and research, and laboratory diagnosis. procedures to determine the quality of meat products are in progress. students are instructed in inspection of food and laboratory tests associated. the subsequent occupation of japan gave the medical department the problem of combating encephalitis. andveterinary division another section of the school were given the job of producing an embryo vaccine against this encephalitis. in producing the vaccine in the first, eggs are selected, then punctured to prevent inoculation.
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gloves, face shields, and gowns protect technicians from contact. inoculated, and the openings are sealed. next, they are placed in an incubator. following incubation of the embryos are harvested. into aey are ground solution. the vaccine is made from this preparation. tour, theief divisions all intimately concerned with army labs have not been shown, but their cooperation and assistance have been invaluable. the laboratory division in the surgeon general's office was in the preventative medicine service. they emphasize the public health responsibilities of the division and its relationship to the other divisions. thise height of the war,
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service was composed of 10 divisions and charged with prevention, control, and diagnosis of disease. all material actually dating investigations was reviewed by washington and appeared in the form of scientific papers in military and civilian publications. this material form the basis for directives on the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and control of the army's problem diseases. the work of the laboratories continues, as in wartime, the diagnostic facilities are clinical services. looksmy serving general to the laboratory for problems related to the blood bank, transfusions, antibodies, and wound infections. the epidemiologists await
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dated to complete reports. observations are made on the status of the army's health. in wartime, the laboratories assisted in the attainment of different rates that helped in the development of new procedures for disease prevention. our wartime knowledge has been put to practical peacetime use. up toerican soldiers look these men behind the microscopes, these quiet men behind the scenes, these men who work in army laboratories, who's never ending battle with disease goes on in wartime and in peace. ♪ this is american
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history tv on c-span3. each weekend, 48 hours of programs exploring our nation's past. ♪ >> from the beginning, the human race has had to contend with survival, disease, and death.


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