International Clinical Trials Day 2017
Life on Board HMS Salisbury
It’s widely known that what is considered to be the first randomized clinical trial took place on board HMS Salisbury in 1747 when ship’s surgeon, Lieutenant James Lind conducted several experiments to test the effectiveness of citrus fruits (mainly limes) as a cure for scurvy.
Although HMS Salisbury was taken out of service in 1761 the oldest warship still afloat in the UK, HMS Trincomalee provides some interesting insights into what life would have been like for James Lind and the crew of HMS Salisbury.
The surgeon’s tools and medical quarters shown to the left would have changed very little between the times of the Salisbury and Trincomalee. Certainly sleeping conditions and meals (lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables for long periods of time) would be very similar to those shown here.
Thank you to HMS Trincomalee, National Museum Royal Navy Hartlepool for granting use of these photos.
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