Medicine + Surgery: Advances in Surgery and Key Individuals

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  • Created by: Frankey
  • Created on: 07-04-10 18:09

Operating in 1700:

  • there were mainly two types of operation:
    • amputation
    • removal of gall stones
  • carried out in operating theatres or the patients kitchen table
  • the process:
    • applying a tourniquet
    • using a knife to cut flesh
    • using a second knife to cut muscles and tendons
    • using a saw to cut bone
  • strength and speed were the main skills
  • sawdust caught blood and vomit

Problems with surgery in C18th:

  • Pain:
    • no anaesthetic
      • used laudanum or alcohol or a boxer, paid to knock out the patient
      • mostly nothing was used
        • men held down the patient
        • relied on surgeon's speed
  • Infection:
    • surgeons apron blood stained
    • tools covered in blood and pus
      • shows experience
      • increases spread of germs
    • men held patient down
      • increased spread of germs
    • theatre open to the public
      • increased spread of germs
    • many patients died from infection rather than the operation
    • antiseptic needed for solution
  • Blood Loss
    • surgeons usually used their thumb to apply pressure when amputating
    • did not know about blood groups nor volume of blood
    • patients often went into shock


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