The results from this treatment are marvelous,
the death rate was immediately reduced from 50% to 15%..V.B.
Siberia - Manchuria
Vashti Bartlett, assigned to the American Red Cross Mission in Siberia,
arrived in Vladivostok in 1919 to assist in the care of thousands of
refugees who had amassed there. Fleeing the fierce fighting of the Russian
Revolution, large groups throughout the Tsarist empire had escaped eastward
on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, spilling into the terminus at Vladivostok.
Just as Bartlett began her assignment, the American Red Cross transferred
her to Manchuria, where a cholera epidemic was sweeping the city of
Harbin. Placed in charge of nursing for the affected region, Bartlett
deployed her skills and savvy to quell the contagion and direct nursing
for hundreds who had contracted the disease. When Vashti returned to
Vladivostok, chaos erupted. Having taken control of the Trans-Siberian
Railroad, the Bolsheviks advanced upon the city. The American Red Cross
closed its Siberia mission forcing Bartlett and her colleagues into
a hasty departure.
"Merry Christmas, Siberia, 1919" Relief
aid arrives in Vladivostok
Of particular concern was the fate of trainloads of
children who had arrived in Vladivostok unaccompanied by parents or
Some idea of the magnitude of the cholera epidemic can be gained,
when I tell you that at first the death rate was from two to three
hundred daily. It seems that the cause of death is due to the fact
that so much of the fluids of the body are given off in the almost
constant vomiting and stools that the blood cannot flow for lack of
fluid and the death rate is lessened 50 percent by this treatment
[intravenous infusion of glucose and electrolytes].
The yard surrounding the hospital was filled with hundreds of
patients in all stages of the disease, awaiting their turn for treatment
.As soon as possible straw shelters with mosquito netting sides
were erected, box cars utilized as temporary hospitals and in a surprisingly
short time the situation was well in hand. We divided our forces and
quickly set to work transfusing as many patients in twenty-four hours
as humanly possible. The results from this treatment are marvelous,
the death rate was immediately reduced from 50% to 15%. V.
Czech Soldiers marching in streets
Inside of Fuchiatian Cholera Hospital, Dr. Ling
Vashti with American Red Cross doctors and nurses,
in a "Rich man's grave yard"