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APPENDIX

838

REPORT OF LECTURES FOR DIVISION MEDICAL GAS OFFICERS HELD IN PARIS IN OCTOBER, 1918 a

AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES,
HEADQUARTERS SERVICES OF SUPPLY,
OFFICE MEDICAL DIRECTOR, CHEMICAL WARFARE SERVICE,
October 15, 1918.


From: Medical director, Chemical Warfare Service.
To: Chief surgeon, American Expeditionary Forces (through chief, Chemical Warfare Service).
Subject: Report on special course of lectures for division medical gas officers.

I wish to make the following report concerning the special course of lectures for division medical gas officers which was given in Paris, October 7, 8, 9, and 10. This course was held at the amphitheater of the school of pharmacy, University of Paris. The daily session began at 9 a. m. and terminated at 5 p. m., with two hours intermission at midday. In addition to the prospective division medical gas officers ordered to attend, there were a great many others who took advantage of the course, thereby increasing the attendance to about 70 at each session. The course was conducted like a regular school course, roll call being held at 9 a. m. and 2 p. m. each day and all absentees being called upon to explain their absence.

The session was opened by Professor Rogers of the medical faculty of the University of Paris, who spoke very pleasingly to the class and took the occasion of extending to them and to the medical officers of the American Expeditionary Forces all the privileges of the laboratories, libraries, and other facilities of the university.

Lieutenant General Burtchaell, surgeon general of the British armies in France, was the next speaker. General Burtchaell spoke for about 15 minutes, during which time he took occasion to congratulate the Medical Corps of the American Expeditionary Forces on securing division medical gas officers. He emphasized the necessity for having such officers with divisions and spoke of their numerous duties and of the wonderful opportunities presented to them for early study of gas cases at the front.

Brigadier General Thayer, chief consultant, medical services, American Expeditionary Forces, then spoke to the class. He emphasized the necessity for division medical gas officers and the importance of their duties.

After the introductory part of the session, Major Zanetti, of the Chemical Warfare Service, lectured on " The relation of chemistry to medicine and the importance of the medical officer being familiar with gas chemistry." During the course of his lecture he exhibited specimens of the different chemicals and gases in use.

Major Flandin, of the French Medical Corps, was the next lecturer. His subject was "The operations of warfare gases, their effects, actions on animals, etc." His lecture was illustrated with moving pictures.

At 2 p. m. the class assembled at the University of Paris, where Aide-Major Mayer, of the Medical Department of the French armies, delivered two excellent lectures, his subjects being "The physiology and pathology of gassed patients." His lectures were illustrated by lantern slides and were extremely interesting.

He was followed by Major McCullough, of the Chemical warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces, who lectured on methods by which gases were introduced and the importance of medical officers being familiar with them.

TUESDAY-SECOND DAY

The forenoon was devoted to the subject of "Lung irritants," and especially phosgene. Major Flandin, of the French armies, lectured to the class from 9 a. in. to 10 a. in. He was followed by Colonel Douglas, of the British armies, who lectured on the same subject, laying special stress on the action of oxygen in connection with the treatment of lung irritants. Colonel Norris, of the American Expeditionary Forces, lectured on the early symptoms and treatment of gas cases, emphasizing especially the necessity for and importance of early diagnosis and absolute rest.
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aAppendix 5, History of Chemical Warfare Services, American Expeditionary Forces, Vol. II, 162. Copy on file, Historical Division, Army War College.


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The afternoon session was devoted to the subject of "Vesicants," especially mustard gas, the symptoms, and treatment. Major Clarque, of the French armies, was the first lecturer. He was followed by Colonel Pasteur, of the British armies, who not only lectured on this subject, but also dealt briefly with arsine poisoning, symptoms, and treatment. Colonel Lee, of the American Expeditionary Forces, followed Colonel Pasteur, and lectured on the late effects of mustard-gas poisoning, including vesicant actions and treatment.

Lieutenant Goldschmidt, of the Chemical Warfare Service, American Expeditionary Forces, spoke a few words on the results of animal laboratory experimentation with saline isotonic transfusion following blood letting. A general discussion followed his talk.

WEDNESDAY-THIRD DAY

The forenoon was devoted to organization and methods for the evacuation of gassed cases. Colonel Ashford, of the American Expeditionary Forces, was the first lecturer, his subject being "Evacuation hospitals and the facilities therein for treating gassed cases." Colonel Ashford was followed by Major Flandin, of the French armies, who spoke on the French methods of handling gassed cases. Colonel Douglas, of the British armies, next addressed the class on the British organization and methods for handling gassed casualties. He also spoke of the German organization for handling these cases. Following Colonel Douglas, Captain Coughlan, of the American Expeditionary Forces, spoke on the organization and duties of division medical gas officers as worked out in the 42d Division.

At 2 p. m. Captain Coughlan concluded his talk on this subject. At 3 p. m. Professor Achard, chief of the medical gas service of the French armies, spoke on the subject of "The late symptoms and treatment of mustard-gas poisoning."

The theoretical part of the session was closed by a few remarks by Col. H. L. Gilchrist, medical director of Chemical Warfare Service of the American Expeditionary Forces, followng which a practical demonstration was given of the degassing unit, which took place in front of the School of Pharmacy.

THURSDAY-FOURTH DAY

Thursday was devoted to visiting different hospitals in Paris and studying the latest methods for the treatment of gassed cases.

In view of the marked enthusiasm displayed by the officers attending the course, it is believed that these courses should be conducted frequently. To that end it is recommended that a special medical gas course of lectures be added to the curriculum of the sanitary school at Langres, as this will give the medical officers of our services an opportunity to keep posted on this important subject. At the recent meeting all the latest medical methods in connection with warfare gases were introduced, especially those in regard to the treating of masses, their evacuation, etc.

In conclusion, I wish to take this opportunity of thanking the directors of l'Ecole de Pharmacie for the use of their buildings during this course; Dean Rogers, Professor Achard, Major Flandin, Captain Clarque, and Aide-Major Mayer of the French armies; Lieutenant General Burtchaell and Colonels Pasteur and Douglas, of the British armies; and Colonels Lee and Norris, Majors Zanetti and McCullough, and Captain Coughlan, of the American Expeditionary Forces, for their able assistance and help in connection with this first special gas course for our medical officers.

H. L. GILCHRIST,
Colonel, M. C., United States Army.