Saved for posterity

Remarkable injuryIn 1875 the American surgeon Charles Brigham recorded this wince-inducing case from his practice in San Francisco. The details are contained in a volume he published the following year, Surgical Cases with Illustrations. It’s a notable book, one of the earliest to feature extensive photographs of the cases described. Until the mid-19th century, most medical illustrations were engravings … Read more

Two spoonsful of brain on the pillow

Extensive injury to the brainHere’s a story so replete with ghastly details that if it happened today it would immediately be featured in a TV reality documentary about emergency medicine, complete with dramatic reconstructions and lavish amounts of tomato ketchup. This was reported to the San Francisco Medical Press in 1860 by a Dr Peter Campbell from Sonoma in northern California:

In 1850, a Read more