History (Surgery in the 20th Century)

Surgery Revision

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the Main Risks Of Surgery In 1845

 no anaesthetic

 no clean medical or surgical equipment

 no protective equipment

 no properly trained doctors

 not wearing clean clothing when performing operations

 people watching the operations which spread disease and distracted the doctors

 unclean operating theatre

 no methods of pain relief

 the wooden operating table was difficult to clean

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Inference Questions

What the source suggests

What impression does the source give

What does the source show

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Inference Question Answer

Source A shows that the operation was completed by a ‘short, quick stroke of the knife’.

This suggests that the doctors didn’t care about their patients being in pain.

As anaesthetics hadn't been discovered yet the patients didn’t have any form of pain relief.

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1799 Humphrey Davy discovered pain could be relieved by inhaling nitrous oxide, laughing gas, but surgeons didn't use it

1842 Crawford Long found that ether was a useful anaesthetic but he didn’t publically announce his discovery

1845 Horace Wells saw people inhaling nitrous oxide and injuring themselves with no pain but realised that nitrous oxide didn’t work on everyone

1846 John Warren provided anaesthetics through an operation and managed to remove a tumour without the patient feeling pain

1846 Robert Liston used ether to remove a tooth and a leg

1847 James Simpson didn’t like the use of ether as anaesthetic as he thought it was dangerous so he tested chloroform with his friends. They tried in on 50 patients and it seemed to work better than ether.

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John Snow

 He developed the chloroform inhaler

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Cross Referencing Questions


Identify the key messages in each source

Establish the overall message of each source 

Think carefully about the extent to which one source supports or challenges another source

Make a direct comparison between the sources

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Cross Reference Answer


Paragraph 1      Explains how source 2 challenges source 1

Source 2 gives the impression that

However Source 3 suggests that

Paragraph 2      Explains ways in which source 2 does not challenge source 1

Source 2 does not challenge all the messages given in source 1. for example

Paragraph 3      Reaches an overall judgement about the extent to which source 2 challenges source 1

Overall source 2 challenges source 1 to a large/ small extent. This is because 

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The Black Period Of Surgery

1840’s to 1870’s

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Portrayal Questions

Step 1 annotate the source and spot the obvious clues in the source

Step 2 explain how the artist/writer is aiming to create a specific impression by including these details.

Concluding paragraph  


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Utility Questions


Step 1 consider the content what do we learn?, what do we not learn? What is missed out? What else would you want to know?

Step 2 consider the provenance of the source what is the nature of the source?  What type of source is it?  What are the origins of the source?  Who wrote or produced the source?  When was it produced?  What was the purpose of the source?  How typical is the source?

Step 3 reach an overall judgement always end with a conclusion in which you reach a judgement,  how useful is each source?,  which source is the most useful?  What is your key reason for reaching this judgement?  

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Judgement Questions


Provides details of both parties 

How they were both important

And explains how the decision about importance has been made

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Blood Transfusions

1818    Blundell was the first human blood transfusion 

 1900    carl Landsteiner discovered blood groups

1st world war large numbers of people needed blood transfusions also gave more chances for surgery

Sodium citrate and important chemical advancement

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Important Dates In Surgery

1799    Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) discovered as an anaesthetic by Humphrey Davy.

1844   Laughing gas used for the first time by Horace Wells.

1846   Ether used for the first the first time in the USA.

1848    Hannah Greener Died.

1853   Queen Victoria uses chloroform to give birth to her 8th child.

1850    Black Period infection bloodloss got worse.

1861   Germ theory discovered by Louis Pasteur.

1865    Carbolic spray found by Joseph Lister.  

1878    Chicken cholera vaccine made by Louis Pasteur.

1901    For blood groups discovered by Karl Landenstenier.

1916 - A way of storing blood was developed.

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