Revision Notes:Surgery


Surgery [Notes]

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  • Created on: 03-04-12 13:26
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Revision Notes: HISTORY [SURGERY]
1842: Crawford W Long (America) used ether as an anaesthetic while
operating on a neck tumour (but did not publish details of his
1845: Horace Wells (America) tried unsuccessfully to demonstrate that
laughing gas would allow him to extract a tooth painlessly.
1846: Dr JC Warren (America) removed a tumour from the neck of
Gilbert Abbott using ether.
1846: Dr JC Warren (America) removed a tumour from the neck of
Gilbert Abbott using ether.
1846: Robert Liston (Britain) removed a leg using ether 'this Yankee
1847: James Simpson (Britain) discovered chloroform.
1884: Carl Koller (Germany) discovered that cocaine is a local
1847: Ignaz Semmelweiss (Hungary) cut the death rate in his maternity
ward by making the doctors wash their hands in calcium chloride solution
before treating their patients.
1854: Standards of hospital cleanliness and nursing care rose rapidly under
the influence of Florence Nightingale.
1865: Joseph Lister (Scotland) basing his ideas on Pasteur's Germ Theory
cut the death rate among his patients from 46 to 15 per cent by spraying
instruments and bandages with a 1in20 solution of carbolic acid.
1890: Beginnings of aseptic surgery surgeons started boiling their
instruments to sterilise them WS Halstead (America) started using rubber
gloves when operating German surgeons started to use face masks.
1901: Karl Landsteiner (Austria) discovered blood groups. Transfusions
had been tried before but usually killed the patient because of clotting.
Matching blood groups stopped this happening.
1913: Richard Lewisohn discovered that sodium citrate stopped blood
clotting during an operation.
1938: The National Blood Transfusion Service was set up in Britain.

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More causes for improvements in surgery
The number of operations grew hugely through the century,
and surgeons became skilled at internal operations (1880s:
first appendectomy; 1896: first open-heart surgery) and even
tried (unsuccessfully) to transplant organs such as thyroid
glands and testicles. Various factors pushed the process along:
1. The Industrial Revolution / inventions
Wilhelm Roentgen discovered x-rays -
helped internal surgery.
Public demonstrations (eg of
anaesthesia) allowed knowledge of new procedures
to spread.
2.…read more


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