In December 1886 the Cincinnati Enquirer published an exclusive from its New York correspondent. He had uncovered an amazing story at one of the city’s hospitals – the death of its longest-standing patient. She’d been an inmate there for three decades, but that wasn’t even the most interesting part of the tale:
When Nellie Steele went to the Bellevue Hospital … Read more
When I first came across this stirring tale of improvised surgery at sea I wasn’t at all sure it was true. It appeared in 1852 in a minor journal called The Scalpel, which was published in New York between 1849 and 1864. The journal was edited, and largely written, by the indefatigable Dr Edward H. Dixon, a highly-regarded expert … Read more
The Royal Academy of Surgery in Paris was founded in 1731 by Louis XV. It was abolished in 1793 following the Revolution, but for the sixty years of its existence it was one of the leading such institutions in Europe – its official journal, the Mémoires de l’Académie Royale de Chirurgie, was regularly translated into English.
The second … Read more
Eclampsia is a serious condition affecting women before, during or after childbirth. The name means literally ‘bursting forth’, an apt description for the seizures that characterise the condition, which arrive suddenly and dramatically. The cause of eclampsia has never been identified, although it is always preceded by pre-eclampsia – a combination of symptoms including high blood pressure and protein in … Read more
Albert Vander Veer was a distinguished New York surgeon of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A Civil War veteran, he was a notable pioneer in an age when operating inside the abdomen was almost a mission into terra incognita. An expert on the surgery of the uterus, he also performed daring operations on the gall bladder, intestines and … Read more