View Full Version : First aid

07-28-2006, 12:25 AM
I realize I could Google this, but what did the white powder that was spread on a fresh wound do? I can't remember what it was, but I was in the U.S. Army, and don't recall being instructed on it. Anyways, soldiers are shown dousing wounded comrades with in "Saving Private Ryan," and "Band of Brothers."

I suspect it was to constrict capillaries and to reduce bleeding or disinfect wounds, but I don't know...

07-28-2006, 12:49 AM

The discovery of Sulfanilamide greatly affected the mortality rate during World War II. American soldiers were taught to immediately sprinkle sulfa powder on any open wound to prevent infection. Every soldier was issued a first aid pouch that was designed to be attached to the soldier’s waist belt. The first aid pouch contained a package of sulfa powder and a bandage to dress the wound. One of the main components carried by a combat medic during World War II was sulfa powder and sulfa tablets.

Source: http://home.att.net/~steinert/wwii.htm#The Use of Sulfanilamide in World War II