The technology used in the Great War used to kill enemy troops greatly developed between previous wars. The Great War saw the introduction of poisonous gases, the use of full automatic guns as well as previously unseen volumes of artillery support. Nurses and doctors were not only dealing with gun wounds like they had been used to in previous wars, they also had to learn to deal with crippling shelling injuries. The toxic gases also led to serious lung damage that was a new type of injury that they needed to deal with.
During a Skype conversation with Professor Ana Carden-Coyne of Manchester University (England), she described the returning of the injured soldiers and how the cultural and social perspective developed. The government did the minimum when it came to giving aid to injured soldiers, this was partly due to the general atmosphere of skepticism of crippled soldiers mooching off the government during a period of economic downturn. The soldiers were left to struggle and were unable to help in the wartime government due to their inability to do manual labour, and in a welfare state they were perceived to be better off dying on the battlefield.
Due to the lower scale of modern war and advancements in field medicine, soldiers have a higher survival rate. What was previously only labelled as “shell shock”, PTSD is the resulting struggle that soldiers are having to return home with. Soldiers being diagnosed with mental illnesses is important and will result in better health care.