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About this work


Describes the importance of penicillin in treating battle casualties in the Second World War, within a framework of newsreel footage showing the unloading of a field ambulance, setting up a blood transfusion and the transfer of a patient to a casualty clearing station. The film then turns to the story of penicillin itself, with a re- enactment by Alexander Fleming of his discovery of the mould that became the world's best-known antibiotic and a reconstruction of the laboratory processes by which Drs. Howard Florey and Ernest Chain obtained penicillin in powder form and studied its effect on blood, using laboratory mice. The production problems of penicllin are described and the process is shown and explained. Ends with the transfer of the patient from the casualty clearing station to an ambulance, atttended by a nurse holding a drip, and thence to a plane.


[Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 1945.

Physical description

1 videocassette (VHS) (18 min.) : sound, black and white, PAL.

Copyright note

ICI Pharmaceuticals (Astra Zeneca)


Copy supplied by the National Film & Television Archive

Creator/production credits

Realist Film Unit and the Therapeutic Research Corporation
Alexander Fleming



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