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Emergency medical exhibit opens at Verdun Museum

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The first thematic temporary exhibition at Verdun Memorial Museum, entitled Assistance for Casualties and Victims from the Great War to the Present Day, focuses on emergency medicine and tracks the way it has changed since the First World War to the paramedic ambulances of today. It has been designed to reflect the conference, Verdun, Terre de santé which will be held in Verdun Oct. 7-8.


The exhibition sheds light on the organization and location of various types of medical assistance based on the type of terrain, the availability of evacuation, the different skills on hand and the technical knowledge of the time. It takes a look at the major conflicts and events that have marked the century since 1914, showing visitors a vast chronological picture of the changes in the assistance provided for the casualties and victims of war through contemporary objects, photographs, films and medical equipment.


Auxiliary hospital No. 37, Avrillé (Maine-et-Loire), 1914-1918. © CRF

After an introduction to the subject, the exhibition is divided into two main sections linked by a passageway. The first two sequences give visitors the keys to understanding the various stages in the treatment of casualties.


A casualty being evacuated from the battlefield at Les Eparges. © Mémorial de Verdun

The first sequence, entitled Terrain(s), shows the main routes and resources used in the evacuation of casualties (stretcher-bearer, hospital train, ambulance, ship, plane etc.).

The second sequence, focusing on Knowledge and Skill, illustrates the advances in medical knowledge over time, with examples such as medical imaging, surgery, resuscitation and changes in first aid techniques. New advances include immunization, vaccination and CT scanning.


Ex-serviceman. His left arm has been amputated and replaced by a prosthesis. © Mémorial de Verdun

The last two sections take a closer look at the evacuation and care of casualties.


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