Medicine

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Medicine in the Seven Kingdoms, and in the Known World, often plays a key role in the quality of life of its inhabitants. In addition to common healers, midwives, and bonesetters, there are a number of different orders practicing medicine, such as the Maesters of the Citadel in Westeros, the House of the Red Hands in Braavos, the godswives of Lhazar, the Blue Graces of Slaver's Bay, and the Moonsingers of the Jogos Nhai.

Treatment

Commoners usually do not have access to a maester's services, like those who are rich or members of noble houses do, and have to rely on traveling barbers, local healers, midwives, hedge wizards, woods witches, and their own knowledge of herbs.

Wounds are often cleaned with boiling wine,[1][2] or treated with Myrish fire[3] or firemilk,[4] both of which burn on contact. Maggots may be used if a wound is going rotten, as the maggots eat out the rotten parts.[5] Maesters also learn to stitch wounds closed,[6] and can use poultices containing mustard seeds, nettles, and bread mold to prevent infection.[7] Leeches are also used to drain bad blood that builds up in wounds.[7] Pain can be dulled with potions containing opiates such as milk of the poppy[8] or dreamwine,[9] or by chewing willow bark[10] or sourleaf.[11] Vinegar is used to disinfect wounds[12] and surgical instruments.[13]

Fractured limbs are immobilized using splints and plaster until the bones have knit.[14] Moon tea is used as contraceptive, and to deal with unwanted pregnancies.[15][16]

The kiss of life is used by priests of the Drowned God to ritually revive drowned men,[17] but at least one maester has used it to revive someone from a more typical drowning.[18]

Poisons

Many poisons are used throughout the Seven Kingdoms and in the East. Although the Maesters of the Citadel study the histories and qualities of various poisons in addition to their healing arts,[19] their use seems to be more widespread in the free cities,[20] and the assassin guilds like the Faceless Men and the Sorrowful Men. Sweetsleep is a poison that can also be used as a medicinal treatment.[21]

Diseases and Illness

Minor chills (colds), fevers, fluxes, and poxes are rarely deadly or even seriously debilitating,[22] but can kill.[23][24][25] The bloody flux is quite serious and often deadly.[26] Whores often carry unpleasant poxes and venereal diseases.[27] The continent of Sothoryos is home to many fatal diseases.[28]

A number of diseases can be contracted primarily during childhood. Redspots is common, but it never kills anyone under the age of ten, and once you have had it you are immune to it for the rest of your life. However, adults who did not contract it in childhood remain at risk of infection.[29] Greyscale is rarely fatal to children, but nearly always fatal to adults. It makes the skin grey and hard as stone, and often leaves its survivors disfigured.[19]

List of known diseases and illnesses

Epidemics

Quotes

Pycelle: Pain is a gift from the gods, Lord Eddard. It means the bone is knitting, the flesh healing itself. Be thankful.
Eddard: I will be thankful when my leg stops throbbing.[62]

The healers of the Citadel are the best in the Seven Kingdoms.[63]

Disease could wipe out an army quicker than any battle, he had heard his father say once.[64]

—thoughts of Tyrion Lannister

References

  1. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 35, Eddard IX.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Hedge Knight.
  3. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 32, Arya III.
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
  5. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 67, Tyrion XV.
  6. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 16, Bran II.
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 31, Jaime IV.
  8. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  9. 9.0 9.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  10. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
  11. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 1, Arya I.
  12. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 56, The Iron Suitor.
  13. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 39, Cersei IX.
  14. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard X.
  15. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon II.
  16. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
  17. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Sworn Sword.
  19. 19.0 19.1 A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  20. 20.0 20.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
  21. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 34, Cat Of The Canals.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
  24. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
  25. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
  26. 26.0 26.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 30, Daenerys V.
  27. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
  28. 28.00 28.01 28.02 28.03 28.04 28.05 28.06 28.07 28.08 28.09 28.10 28.11 The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: Sothoryos.
  29. 29.0 29.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
  30. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 35, Bran V.
  31. The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
  32. 32.0 32.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 41, Jon V.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  34. Penguin Random House: A Conversation with George R R Martin (at 17min56s)
  35. Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  36. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 26, Samwell III.
  37. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  39. 39.0 39.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  40. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 18, The Iron Captain.
  41. 41.0 41.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: Ten Thousand Ships.
  42. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  43. The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: Naath.
  44. The Rogue Prince.
  45. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 68, Daenerys IX.
  46. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran IV.
  47. Fire & Blood, Reign of the Dragon - The Wars of King Aegon I.
  48. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  49. 49.0 49.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
  50. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
  51. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos II.
  52. 52.0 52.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  53. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 15, Samwell II.
  54. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 13, Tyrion II.
  55. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
  56. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  57. Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  58. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  59. Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  60. 60.0 60.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
  61. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
  62. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
  63. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
  64. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 47, Tyrion X.