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Royaumont Abbey

  • Adrian Thomas
  • Francis Duck
Chapter
Part of the Springer Biographies book series (SPRINGERBIOGS)

Abstract

Casualties continued to flood Royaumont. The next 3 months were the busiest and most stressful of the war. X-ray diagnosis of gas gangrene and improved bacteriology led to a substantial reduction in death rate, using experimental antitoxin sera from the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Edith realised that other SWH X-ray units had failed from lack of technical knowledge, where she brought the skills to ensure that the equipment was always fully operational. The X-ray workload took its toll. Radiographers suffered from radiation burns to their hands and necks and had to take leave. Radiation dose was also increased from the change from film to fluoroscopy. Vera Cullum, the long-standing radiographer, showed changes in her blood cells, and Edith insisted that she was taken off all X-ray work. Edith blamed the basic British equipment supplied by Butt and preferred the newer Gaiffe French design. Some staff left from nervous exhaustion. Staff changes limited Edith’s authority, as traditional medical hierarchies reappeared. The last patients left at the end of December. Edith stayed, to catalogue films and pack equipment, until February. Her contribution was recognised by the French award of the Croix de Guerre, for dedicating her science under repeated bombardment.

Keywords

Antitoxin sera Vera Cullum Radiation burns Nervous exhaustion Croix de Guerre Butt and Co Gaiffe 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Thomas
    • 1
  • Francis Duck
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, School of Allied and Public Health ProfessionsCanterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK
  2. 2.Formerly University of BathBathUK

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