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Headquarters, Third Portable Hospital, U.S.A.S.O.S., A.P.O. 705, 6 November, 1943

Table of Contents

HEADQUARTERS
THIRD PORTABLE HOSPITAL
U.S.A.S.O.S.

A.P.O. 705
6 November, 1943


SUBJECT: Quarterly Historical Report for Months of July 1, 1943 to September 30, 1943 of the 3rd Portable Surgical Hospital.

TO: Surgeon, U.S.A.S.O.S., A.P.O. 501 (Thru Channels).

1.    The 3rd Portable Surgical Hospital has functioned as a fifty-bed station hospital at Iron Range, Q'ld for the period covered in this history, administering to 150 American troops, 350 Australian Troops, and about 200 C.C.C. personnel. Sick call each morning included members of all three groups as there are no other medical officers in this area. Patients in the hospital wire as follows:

MONTH        AUSTRALIAN    AMERICAN        C.C.C.
        
July                   28                        10                            8
August              25                        11                            8
September        18                        11                            3

At no time were there more than fifteen patients in the hospital on the same day.

2.    The majority of the illness were infected lacerations with cellulitis, or lymphangitis and lymphadenitis. There were five emergency appendectomies, two head injuries, two fractured wrist and one femur, and one reamputation of fingers.

3.    Some elective surgery was done, i.e. circumcision, hemorrhoidectomies, varicocoeles, excision of warts, and saphenous veins ligations with injections, no general hospital type case was done.

4.    In the field of medicine, the majority of patients had malaria and were recurrences among the personnel of the 3rd Portable Surgical Hospital in every case but one, who was a recently arrived C.C.C. worker from the Islands. There were numerous skin diseases, the most prominent being tinea. From the Australian forces, there were several cases of systemic diseases as cardio-vascular-renal disease, arteriosclerosis with cardiac symptoms,  hepatomegaly of undetermined origin, and one case of Hodgkin's disease beginning in the cervical glands.

5.     The Out Patient Clinic has been much more active, having the following numbers:

MONTH        AUSTRALIAN    AMERICAN        C.C.C.

July                     114                        62                    52
August                117                        28                    70
September            90                        17                    37


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6.    Training has continued among the enlisted men in ward nursing and especially in surgical nursing, operating room technique and the preparation of sterile supplies. One operating team, consisting of a “floating” nurse, a “scrub” nurse and an assistant, has perfected itself to the point where a patient is cleaned and draped and instruments are ready within twenty minutes for the surgeon to make the incision for any surgical procedure. Lectures have also been given in malaria, its control, and personal preventive measures.

7.    The hospital includes a pharmacy, the S/Sgt acting as pharmacist, and a laboratory in which malaria smears, complete blood and urine studies can be done, one well trained sergeant acting as technician. We are somewhat handicapped in not having a small portable Xray in the diagnosis of the borderline fractures which are occasionally seen and have to be transferred South for Diagnosis.

8.    The heaviest burden of the hospital personnel has been the messing arrangement in the area. Two-thirds of the enlisted men and officers in the area mess at the hospital. It averages about 106 enlisted men and nine officers besides the few patients. However, the fare has been excellent, well prepared and plentiful, except for fresh vegetables, fruits, and eggs.

9.    We have painted the entire exterior of the building with camouflage green paint and replaced the burlap which interspaced tile screens with fine wire mesh, making the building considerably cooler. The surgery, pharmacy, laboratory and parts of the ward and its cabinet, have been painted white increasing their appearance tremendously and making them easier to keep clean. The camp area itself has been cleared of underbrush and burned as a fire protection measure.

10.    The water supply, food and sanitation have been excellent. There have been no diarrhea and no epidemic of any sort in the area.

11.    Morale has been exceptionally good for an area so isolated. Recreational facilities have been provided to their fullest extent and movies are given twice a week. There is much free time.

12.    However, most of the period has been spent in marking time. Hospital work has been light and the number of men in the area has consistently dwindled. The problem of the future of the area has held up building improvements and the furnishing of requisitioned supplies. The hospital is gradually being reduced to a messing center, while covering any medical eventuality which may develop in the area.

Signed
WILLIAM L. GARLICK
Major, M. C.,
Commanding.

SOURCE:  National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 112, The Army Surgeon General, Entry 54A, 3d Portable Surgical Hospital History, Box 611.