THE FEAT OF MEDICAL WORKERS DURING THE SIEGE OF LENINGRAD

  • Authors: Strelnikova S.1, Eremeeva A.1
  • Affiliations:
    1. Voronezh State Medical University named after N. N. Burdenko
  • Issue: Vol 10 (2021): IV ВСЕРОССИЙСКАЯ СТУДЕНЧЕСКАЯ НАУЧНАЯ КОНФЕРЕНЦИЯ С МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫМ УЧАСТИЕМ «БЕРЕЧЬ И РАЗВИВАТЬ БЛАГОРОДНЫЕ ТРАДИЦИИ МЕДИЦИНЫ»: ВЕРНОСТЬ ПРОФЕССИИ В ИСТОРИИ МОЕЙ СТРАНЫ
  • Pages: 119-121
  • Section: HEALTHCARE ALL OVER THE WORLD
  • URL: https://new.vestnik-surgery.com/index.php/2415-7805/article/view/6813

Cite item

Abstract

During the blockade in hospitals, the walls were covered with frost, and doctors wore white coats over quilted jackets, and wrote in the medical history with pencils, because the ink simply froze in the inkwell.

On the part of the German army, everything was thought out to the smallest detail: the number of victims during the first and second months of the blockade, the epidemic and the final fall of Leningrad with its inhabitants.

The besieged Leningrad doctors not only supported life in the city, but also helped to give birth to a new one.

During the blockade, about 96 thousand children were born.During the period of the blockade, scientists and doctors collected and analyzed various aspects of alimentary dystrophy, thereby enriching science.

Many died from constant bombing and shelling.

During the years of the siege, the Leningrad doctors raised tens of thousands of sick and wounded to their feet, bringing Victory closer with their work. For selflessness and heroism in the conditions of the besieged city, many doctors and researchers were awarded high government awards.

Full Text

The feat of medical workers during the siege of Leningrad

"How much can a person stand? Much more than he thinks. A person can do a lot, can do everything, and still as much»

Daniel Granin

Blokada. It seems that the heart of Leningrad froze, but if you listen-you can make out the rhythm, barely perceptible pulsation, supported by the heroes-doctors.

In hospitals, the walls were covered with frost, and doctors wore white coats over quilted jackets, and wrote in the medical history with pencils, because the ink simply froze in the inkwell. The doctors, along with the blockaders, starved and died, but, being between life and death, they continued to study science.

From the very beginning of the blockade, the doctors understood that Leningrad was mowing down not only exhaustion, but also beriberi. Employees of the Research Institute of the Vitamin Industry collected coniferous branches, separated the needles, kneaded them, poured acetic or tartaric acid, thereby creating a drink rich in Vitamin C to prevent or stop the development of scurvy.

On the part of the German army, everything was thought out to the smallest detail: the number of victims during the first and second months of the blockade, the epidemic and the final fall of Leningrad with its inhabitants [1]."A person survived if he had the motivation to survive." [2]The besieged Leningrad doctors not only supported life in the city, but also helped to give birth to a new one. During the blockade, about 96 thousand children were born. Pregnant women received food according to work cards, and 4 months before delivery they received additional food.During the years of the blockade, alimentary dystrophy of varying severity was among the main diseases in children. Fasting, which disrupts all the functions of the body at any age, is especially detrimental to the health of the child, since for children, nutrition is one of the main factors that ensure growth, physical and mental development. The description of the clinical picture of the patient with alimentary dystrophy was figuratively given by Professor A. F. Tour. During the period of the blockade, scientists and doctors collected and analyzed various aspects of alimentary dystrophy, thereby enriching science.

Professor Alexander Fedorovich Tura, the chief pediatrician of Leningrad at that time, noted that the incidence of diphtheria, dysentery, and colitis was extremely high. Tuberculosis together with dystrophy was the cause of extensive damage to all organs in children [3].

During this period, the number of children with angina, purulent meningitis, and purulent pleurisy decreased sharply. In the first years of the blockade, measles, bronchial asthma, and acute appendicitis almost disappeared. There was also a change in the course of some diseases. Some diseases had a very benign course, while others, on the contrary, had very serious consequences. I would like to note that the lowest mortality rate among children was observed during the siege of Leningrad.

The Leningrad Pediatric Institute has developed a special diet for them, including various substitutes and substances that were not previously used for baby food. The city began to publish pamphlets containing recipes for various dishes that helped to survive in such a difficult time [4].

The pediatric institute included a dairy and food station, with departments: the nutrition department, the vitamin department, and the dairy station. During the war, the company produced a large number of products, the most manufactured were a mixture of No. 3 and porridge. At the dairy station, a dairy farm was built from 3 purebred cows, which, according to estimates, gave 870 liters of milk by the end of the year [5].

In March 1942, Professor Fyodor Mashansky became the head of the Lengorzdrav department. He forbade employees to come to work unshaven, without a tie and ironed collar. In his opinion, the heavy blockade life is not a reason to justify indifference to appearance and work. His first job in the new place was the so-called "Sanitary Terror". In the winter of 1941-1942, the water supply froze and the baths were closed, the townspeople were overcome by lice-carriers of serious diseases, such as typhus. By order of the chief doctor, sanitary brigades appeared in Leningrad. Citizens were obliged to let them into apartments, to give out things and clothes for the san.processing. Such teams had the right to break down the door, and for those citizens who resisted processing, a fine or a month of correctional labor was intended.

To protect young Leningraders from typhoid fever, Professor Mashansky had to break the law, because the vaccine against this disease was not officially recommended for children. At his own risk, secretly from the Moscow authorities, he ordered vaccinations for children from 2 years old. Fortunately, the experiment was successful, and the experience of the siege of Leningrad was applied throughout the country.At about the same time (February-April 1942), the epidemiologist F. I. Alymov, conducting experiments on emaciated mice, noted one hundred percent mortality. When the Leningrad residents, who are in the same conditions that contribute to the spread of the epidemic, the vaccine acted strikingly favorably. This is still one of the" wonders " of the besieged Leningrad.

But still, malnutrition, lack of heat, and incessant bombing have led to an increase in the number of patients with tuberculosis, infectious diseases, and mental illnesses.

The most common infectious diseases were: typhus, dysentery, infectious hepatitis.

Unfortunately, doctors often could not cope with these diseases, as there was an acute shortage of medicines, a deplorable state of sanitation and hygiene, but thanks to the incredible efforts of medical workers, the struggle for the lives of patients ended in victory over diseases.

Many died from constant bombing and shelling. Middle-aged people were often injured, but some of them were children. The injuries sustained as a result of the bombing were severe. The most frequent injuries were to the head, chest, and limbs.

Due to the lack of medicines and dressings, doctors constantly had to go to tricks.

When there was a problem with the lack of bandages, Icelandic moss, which was used instead of lint, and sphagnum, from which the doctors isolated an extract, which was used as an additional antiseptic, came into play.

In 1943, the United States established industrial production of penicillin, two years earlier in England, the first injection of an antibiotic was made, in the USSR, mass production of the drug began only in 1945. But already in the besieged Leningrad, they saved soldiers from burns during shelling and bombing. The idea of growing your own antibiotic came to Semyon Yefimovich Bresler, Candidate of Chemical Sciences, in connection with the circumstances that developed at that time, Marina Glikina happened to apply the theory in practice. She had to find a strain to make a culture of the fungus and make it into an anti-gangrene serum. The desired strain was obtained at the Institute of Agricultural Microbiology. By the end of 1941. Glikina managed to grow a culture that passed all the necessary tests within a year and saved the lives of thousands of wounded people.

An interesting fact is that 144 tons of donated blood and its components for the Red Army were collected in the besieged Leningrad.

Since October 1941, donors with signs of dystrophy began to appear at the institute of blood transfusion, doctors doubted whether it was possible to take blood from such people, but there was no way out. The donor received some hot food and was able to pay for the goods with a donor card, but people did not donate blood for such indulgences. Some women wanted extra food for the children, but one of the leading reasons was precisely the patriotic upsurge. Once, in September 1941, no one came to the transfusion institute-the air alarm sounded almost all day. Then, 150 medical workers themselves handed over the biomaterial, because the plan of blood procurement for the front had to be carried out against all odds.

During the years of the siege, the Leningrad doctors raised tens of thousands of sick and wounded to their feet, bringing Victory closer with their work. In inhumane conditions, when the soul of every Leningrad citizen was saved only by hope and a passionate desire for Victory, doctors took care of their lives and health. For selflessness and heroism in the conditions of the besieged city, many doctors and researchers were awarded high government awards.

×

About the authors

Sofia Strelnikova

Voronezh State Medical University named after N. N. Burdenko

Email: strelnikova.so@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9432-5900
Russian Federation, 394036, Россия, Воронеж, ул. Студенческая, 10

Arina Eremeeva

Voronezh State Medical University named after N. N. Burdenko

Author for correspondence.
Email: eremeewa.ari@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1189-0638
Russian Federation, 394036, Россия, Воронеж, ул. Студенческая, 10

References

  1. Волчок С. И. Забота о детях в блокированном Ленинграде | С.И. Волчок // Вопросы педиатрии в дни блокады Ленинграда. - Сборник-Алиментарные дистрофии и авитаминозы у детей. -1944.- С. 3–8.
  2. Эрман М.В. Вопросы педиатрии в дни блокады Ленинграда: взгляд сквозь годы / М.В. Эрман, Л.В. Эрман, Т.М. Первунина // Вестник Санкт-Петербургского университета. -Серия 11. -Медицина. -2014. -№ 3. -С. 232–242.
  3. Тур А. Ф. Особенности клиники, течения и лечения алиментарных дистрофий у детей / А.Ф. Тур // Вопросы педиатрии в дни блокады Ленинграда. -Сборник 1. -Алиментарные дистрофии и авитаминозы у детей. -1944. -С. 38–48.
  4. Гладких П.Ф. Здравоохранение и военная медицина в битве за Ленинград глазами историка и очевидцев. 1941-1944 гг./ П.Ф. Гладких. - СПб, -2007.
  5. Гладких П.Ф. Служба здоровья в Великой Отечественной войне 1941-1945 гг. / П.Ф. Гладких, А.Е. Локтев. - СПб, 2005.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies