An extraordinary surgical operation

Last week I came across an article which took my breath away. It was published in 1858, in an American journal, the Medical and Surgical Reporter, and it describes an operation of such audacity and skill that I can’t believe it isn’t better known. This is how it was reported: At the request of a … Continue reading An extraordinary surgical operation

Like finding a needle in a pharynx

In November 1828 several English-language journals picked up a case which had appeared in the Revue Medicale, a French medical journal, the previous month. It begins promisingly: A man, aged twenty-five years, was irritating his nostril with a needle… As you do. …when by some accident he suffered it to enter the nostril through which … Continue reading Like finding a needle in a pharynx

The boy who got his wick stuck in a candlestick

The year is 1827, and if you wish to apprise yourself of the latest and most important developments in medicine you could hardly do better than browse the pages of The London Medical and Physical Journal. It is everything a medical journal should be: up-to-date, authoritative, and – above all – serious. What, for instance, … Continue reading The boy who got his wick stuck in a candlestick

Painful news from the Bobbin Factory

Here’s something that will make you wince, and then marvel at the human body’s recuperative abilities. In 1849 Dr Thomas Sanborn, a surgeon from Newport in New Hampshire, wrote to the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal: A young man, aged 23 years, engaged in the Bobbin Factory, was caught, while standing over a revolving arbor … Continue reading Painful news from the Bobbin Factory

A large portion of chin

One night in May 1832 the duty medics at St Thomas’s Hospital in London suddenly had a particularly difficult case to deal with. It was subsequently reported in the London Medical and Surgical Journal: Joseph B. aged 24, a Frenchman, of sanguine temperament, whilst partially inebriated, on the evening of May, in an hotel in Gracechurch Street, … Continue reading A large portion of chin