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The Boston Instructive District Nurses Association and the 1918 Influenza Epidemic: “Intelligent Cooperation”

The Boston Instructive District Nurses Association and the 1918 Influenza Epidemic: “Intelligent... The Boston Instructive District Nurses Association and the 1918 Influenza Epidemic: “Intelligent Cooperation” Arlene W. Keeling University of Virginia Influenza situation here serious. . . . Could immediately place two hundred nurses—can you provide them? On September 23, 1918, James Jackson, the manager of the New England division of the Red Cross, telegraphed these words to the Red Cross headquar- ters in Washington, DC, asking for nurses. A deadly form of influenza had erupted among the military recruits at Camp Devens, just outside Boston, Massachusetts, almost a month earlier and since then had spread to the civil- ian population. People were succumbing to the flu at exponential rates; sick and dying patients were pouring into the city’s hospitals, where wards were soon overflowing and hundreds of extra cots lined the hallways. In some cases, whole families were ill and convalescent patients could not be discharged because there was no one well enough at home to care for them. The city desperately needed nurses. Indeed, nurses rather than physicians were needed on the front lines of the flu battle. In 1918, excellent nursing care was the primary treatment for influenza. There was minimal understanding of the disease; there were no http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

The Boston Instructive District Nurses Association and the 1918 Influenza Epidemic: “Intelligent Cooperation”

Nursing History Review , Volume 30 (1): 12 – Jan 28, 2022

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
Copyright
© 2022 Springer Publishing Company
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.30.14
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Boston Instructive District Nurses Association and the 1918 Influenza Epidemic: “Intelligent Cooperation” Arlene W. Keeling University of Virginia Influenza situation here serious. . . . Could immediately place two hundred nurses—can you provide them? On September 23, 1918, James Jackson, the manager of the New England division of the Red Cross, telegraphed these words to the Red Cross headquar- ters in Washington, DC, asking for nurses. A deadly form of influenza had erupted among the military recruits at Camp Devens, just outside Boston, Massachusetts, almost a month earlier and since then had spread to the civil- ian population. People were succumbing to the flu at exponential rates; sick and dying patients were pouring into the city’s hospitals, where wards were soon overflowing and hundreds of extra cots lined the hallways. In some cases, whole families were ill and convalescent patients could not be discharged because there was no one well enough at home to care for them. The city desperately needed nurses. Indeed, nurses rather than physicians were needed on the front lines of the flu battle. In 1918, excellent nursing care was the primary treatment for influenza. There was minimal understanding of the disease; there were no

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Jan 28, 2022

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