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The Transformation of Surgery
· Problems with Surgery
· Dealing with Pain
· Dealing with Infection
· Dealing with Blood Loss
· The Effect of War on Surgery
· Technique…read more

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Background
· Blood Loss had been a major problem in surgery for centuries.
· The two key problems were:
­ excessive bleeding meant surgeons could not see what they were doing and so
often made mistakes or inflicted more pain upon the patient.
­ If a patient lost too much blood, this would lead to a fall in blood pressure which
would lead to death.
· Pre-16th Century, the main way of dealing with blood loss was to seal
blood vessels by placing a hot iron over them or by pouring hot oil over
them. This extremely painful procedure was known as cautery.
· During the 17th Century (Medical Renaissance), blood transfusions were
experimented with. Both human and animal (usually sheep) blood was
used. However, transfusions were largely unsuccessful and the process
was banned.
· Surgeons used tourniquets ­ clamps which were placed around limbs ­ to
reduce bloodflow to the area they were operating on, thus helping to
prevent excess blood loss.…read more

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Ambroise Paré
(1510-1590)
· During the 16th Century, Europe was at war.
· Paré was sent to the Siege of Turin (1536-37) as a surgeon.
· He was horrified by the pain and suffering he saw and
wanted to reduce it. He was open to new ideas and was
keen to experiment.
· Paré developed metal clips to seal arteries during
operations.
· He also began to use Silk as ligatures to tie up blood
vessels, rather than cauterising them. However, these did
not always work and so Cautery continued to be the main
method of sealing blood vessels until Joseph Lister
developed Catgut Ligatures that would absorb Carbolic Acid
and dissolvable Ligatures in the late 19th Century.…read more

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Karl Landsteiner
· Karl Landsteiner was an Austrian who discovered Blood
Groups.
· Landsteiner discovered that if a person was given blood
from a person with a different blood group, this caused
clotting/agglutination, which was an immunological
reaction as the antigens on the donor's blood came under
attack from the antibodies on the receiver's blood.
· Therefore, donors had to have the same blood type.
· Landsteiner discovered Blood Groups A, B and O in 1901.
· Blood Group AB was added in 1902.
· However, Landsteiner's discovery had little immediate
impact upon surgery because, for a transfusion to take
place, the donor had to be present.…read more

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World War One
· Major advancements in Blood Transfusions
came during World War One (1914-1918)...…read more

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