Dangers in surgery in the 1800s

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  • Dangers in surgery in the 1800s
    • Pain
      • Anaesthetics and other form of pain relief had not been discovered or invented meaning the pain experienced during surgeries would be excruciating
      • Some people would die during surgery as a results of the pain and the initial shock
      • Operations would be carried out as quickly as possible to reduce the pain suffered by the patient
      • Many surgeons believed that if the patient was 'knocked out' there would be no resistance giving the surgeons more time to operate and improve techniques.
    • Bleeding
      • During surgery many people bled to death
      • Tourniquets were used in order to try and prevent blood loss
      • Many surgeons experimented with blood transfusions but it often failed
    • Infection
      • Surgeons did not take any precautions to protect open wounds from infection
      • Doctors refused to use bandages, thus spreading skin infections  from patient to patient
      • Doctors did not wash their hands before an operation, nor did they sterilise their equipment meaning diseases could spread between patients easily
      • Many patients that survived surgery, died due to infection


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