An immense plug of wood

 Sometimes a headline says it all. In June 1842 the London Medical Gazette printed a letter under this memorable title:

Stick in the rectum

The case report that followed was submitted by a retired naval surgeon called Archibald Blacklock (previously featured on this blog, and best known as the man who crept into Robert Burns’s tomb one night in 1834 and took a … Read more

Scalpel, suture and Swedish turnips

Here’s an intriguing article from the American Medico-Surgical Bulletin of 1895, summarising a paper published in a German journal:

intestinal anastomosis using potato plates

The author reports a successful case of strangulated hernia, in which, after resection of about 3 inches of intestine, he performed lateral intestinal anastomosis. 

Strangulated hernia is a condition in which a loop of the bowel protrudes through a hole in … Read more

Occupational hazard

Here’s a striking report from The London Medical and Surgical Journal, originally published in March 1837. The headline is straightforward enough:

pin swallowing

Two remarkable cases of this kind I have had an opportunity of seeing weekly, for twelve months. The first occurred at Manchester; the second was in St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, under the auspices of Mr. — , and both Read more

Fourteen fingers

August is sometimes known as the ‘silly season’: a period of the year when little seems to be happening, politics grinds to a halt, and newspaper editors are forced to publish nonsense they wouldn’t even consider putting into print at other times of the year.

This story, from an 1844 edition of a French journal, the Gazette des hôpitaux civils Read more