1940-1990 Therapies are developed

The number of hospital beds grows rapidly

Pikonlinna, like many other institutions in Finland, functioned as a military hospital during the winter and continuation wars (Military Hospital Nr. 55). 110 beds were added to the sanatorium on June, 1st, 1940.

In the summer 1940 Pikonlinna became a tuberculosis hospital only, treating both soldiers and civilians. In 1945 one hundred extra beds were permanently added, which were used by the hospital for the war-disabled until 1947. Those beds were mainly reserved for soldiers with tuberculosis who came outside the hospital district.

It was not until in 1947 that the Military Hospital closed down its operations and Pikonlinna was reverted to its original peacetime role.  The sudden availability of beds meant that all the adult patients of the membership municipalities were admitted almost immediately.

Finland’s relatively high tuberculosis mortality rate as compared with other Nordic Countries was partly attributed to the wartime conditions. Nonetheless, progress in prevention was made, thanks to improved hygiene, enlightenment, calmette vaccinations, and X-ray screening. Those people who did not have tuberculosis infection based on their infection tests were routinely vaccinated.

Conscripts entering the military service were taken care of by the Defence Forces; schools took responsibility for pupils. With the help of chest x-rays it was possible to screen tuberculosis cases and refer them to patient care at the initial stage of the disease. Valuable preventive care was carried out in ”houses of health”, which were built in postwar Finland with the help of donations coming from Sweden, and other countries.