The healing arts as practiced in the Old West often meant the difference between life and death for American pioneers. Whether the challenge was sickness, an Indian arrow, a gunshot wound, or a fall from a horse, a pioneer in the western territories required care for medical emergencies, but often had to make do until a doctor could be found. This historical overview addresses the perils to health that were present during the expansion of the American frontier, and the methods used by doctors to treat and overcome them. Numerous black and white photographs are provided, as well as a glossary of medical terms. Appendices list drugs commonly used from 1850-1900 and surgical instruments found in a typical doctor's kit of the era.
Jeremy Agnew, a biomedical electronics consultant, has written several books on the Old West. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.