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Emergency Medical Minute


Jan 28, 2019

Author: Chris Holmes, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • In WWI, the 2nd leading cause of soldier disability were STDs.
  • An early treatment of syphilis included topical and inhaled mercury
  • Bloodletting, vitriol, arsenic, and bismuth were other  treatments for syphilis.
  • Infecting patients with Malaria and treating the Malaria was also tried
  • Thankfully penicillin was discovered for our syphilis woes


Frith J. . Syphilis – Its early history and Treatment until Penicillin and the Debate on its Origins. Journal of Military and Veterans Health. 2012. 20(4): 49-58

Summarized by Travis Barlock, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD