The Prisoner of War No 29 Vol 3 September 1944

Sept ember ,1*94.4 The Prisoner of War 3 DISPENSING BY AIRMAIL the JVork of the Lw alid Comforts Section Up-to-date Treatment Awaits Newly Wounded Prisoners T O the families o f Til lOU g l l all wounded -nr- 7•7 prisoners o f war in I V l e C l Call Germ any, a swell as o f those taken captive in earlier days, i twill have been en co u raging t o learn that the Invalid Com forts Section has been able to start sending supplies o f penicillin to German prison camps. The first consignment, d esp atch bed airy in July ,went to the hospitals attached to S talag s 1X C ,344 and V I I A ,to which wounded prisoners from the Norm andy fronts were being sent. Penicillin is most needed for treating new wounds, and the British medical officers in these hosp ita ls, who were warned b y cable from the International Red Cross t expo e c tits delivery ,have thus been able to administer this remark ­able new treatment to the most serious cases a t the earliest possible moment. Small Quantities o f Pen i c ill i nAt present, how ever, only ,“small quantities o f penicillin are being ...sent fo r the treatment o f specified prison e rs,” as Sir James G rig g ,the Minister o f War ,has told the House o f Com mons. Ten standard “packs ”of if h a vein fact gone, each contain in gone carton o f the preparation in tablet form, and twelve bottles of distilled water. I t is difficult to assess th eave rage number o f men that can be treated b y one pack ,for it depend s,o f course, on the severity o f the cases. Thus anew item has been toadded the list of urgent medical supplies which now that communications are u n certain, take precedence o f every thing else being sent to European prison camps b they War Organ isatio .Then list is a compre­hensive one, an din spite o f present diffi­culties the Invalid Some o f the drugs, Com forts Section medicines and manages to con -surgical instruments tin u e its dispen s- which are carefully gin and d esp atch -selected before being gin b y airmail of dispatched to the a wide variety of camps. “wants .”Still passing through the hands o f the Section’s packers are the vital anti-typhus serum son their way direct to prison camp hospitals, with the anaesthetics and the supplies o f blood plasma, and there are reserves a t Geneva which have been prepared b they Section for emergency use. Airmen shot down in enemy terri­tory who maybe suffering from severe burns 011 hand s'and face stand a good chance o f escape from perm a­nent disfigurement, therefor are prison hospitals a t which British sur­geons are equipped to perform the necessary skin ra-g ftin g operations according to the latest method .The work o f Invalid Com forts Sec­tion has made this blessing possible. Inc o llab oration with Mr. Archibald M a cln doe ,head o f th eR.A. F .plastic sur­gery cen tre in Sussex, sets were compiled o f the highly sp ecialised equipment and dressings, and these have been sent with detailed instructions direct to the hos­pitals concerned. Not only is the p a tie n ts’ future rec o very thu scared fo revery ­thing possible is being done to relieve their present pain .Special silk-lin ed log v fores, instance, arc supplied b they Section for them en’s burned hands, which are acutely sensitive until the new skin grow s.Even cig a rette-h old finders their place in the hosp ital stores. Helping the Blind Among the ca su a ltie sin the present intensive fighting there m st,u inevitably ,be cases o f men blinded .When first cap tu red these men are sometimes placed b they Germ ans, for them omen t,in some hosp ital for general wounded where it is difficult for Invalid Com forts S er­ vices to do much for them beyond help­ing them to start learning Braille and beginning rehabilitation and occupational therapy .As soon, how ever, as they reach the The education and amusement of blind P.o .W are.s helped by these devices. Sta lag I X B hosp ital they are in the comp any o f their fellow -afflicted under expert and system a tic care .Here a t Bad Sod en the Blind C e n tre was established earlier this year under the eye spec ia list. Major C harte rs, and to it have come all the resources that Red Cross St.and John can muster in the closest possible collaboration with St. Dun- stan ’s. Every member o f the enC tre becom esau atom tic ally a provisional member o f St. Dun stan ’sand benefits accordingly from th ewe ll-trie d method sand appar­atus evolved b y that world -fam o u organs isa tio .Hen finds a t the enC tre rowing machines to exercise his body and talking books to amuse his mind. G r a dually he learns Braille writing, typing a n dreading ,and can take his choice thin ewe ll-sto ck ed library he may start training for a regular occupa­tion ,such a telephones opera tor, mas­seur, cobbler, o r carp enter, to help to fit him for a se lf-re spec ting trade o r pro­fession 0111 his return to civil life. H e finds, in other words, the power 1o o v er­ come his blindness. (Continued at foot of next page.)
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