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and life along the winding road

Friday, March 21, 2014

London Hospital

London Hospital is a British television series (called Casualty 1900s in England). It is much the same premise as Gray's Anatomy but follows nurses, rather than doctors. They enter the profession as a probationer (nurse in training). The London Hospital (now known as the Royal London Hospital), in the 1900s, had the largest and most advanced emergency services in England and dealt with patients who lived in the poorer and squalid area of London - the  East End. Each of the series bases its characters and events on actual people with stories gleaned from personal memoirs, hospital records and newspaper articles.

You can read more about the series here.

What a difference there was in care the days before penicillin and anesthesiology. Patients died from infection and a doctor, often with no knowledge of anesthesia, was chosen to assist during surgery. Without knowledge of the correct doses of chloroform or ether, deaths from anesthetic were not uncommon.

Radiology was used but not understood and as shown in season 1, radiologists often "lost" fingers and hands and eventually died from exposure.

Before the National Health Service was formed, hospitals treating the poor ran solely on donations mainly from the aristocracy and royal family.

Nurses had a tough life, living at the hospital and not permitted to marry which changed in 1940 (according to a statement in London Hospital Season 1).

I watched the series through Amazon Prime. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial here

Note: One doctor seemed familiar to me, Dr. Ingrams, but I could remember where I'd seen him until I did a Google search. If you are a fan of PBS shows, you might remember him in Silk. His name is Tom Hughes.


Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like a great series to watch. Based on actual people would make it that much more intriguing. Interesting that nurses couldn't marry. I'll have to check out the series, thanks.

Nan said...

We are watching Silk on dvd right now! Tom Hughes was also in the new PBS version of The Lady Vanishes. He's great.
I'm interested in this show.
Have you seen my very most favorite - Call the Midwife??

LindyLou Mac said...

I will be looking out for this programme, now I have read this post.