“During the procedures at the hospital, the blind doctor depended on nurses and other physicians to make decisions requiring eyesight.”
So, how many decisions during surgery don't require eyesight?
Philadelphia Daily News - Mar 2, 1984
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - Aug 26, 1984
Back in 1881, Dr. Thomas Dwight of Harvard Medical School authored Frozen Sections of a Child
, which sounds like the kind of book one might find in the library of a serial killer. As the title indicated, the book consisted of anatomical illustrations of frozen cross-sections of a three-year-old child.
In the preface, Dwight helpfully included advice for those readers who might want to create their own frozen sections of a child:
My experience with frozen sections enables me to offer the following directions for making them. First, be very sure that the body, or part, to be frozen is in precisely the position you desire, and that there are no folds or indentations in the skin. I always use natural cold when possible. Weather much about zero (Fahrenheit) is unsatisfactory; but if the part is thoroughly chilled by several days' exposure to a pretty low temperature, a night of 10° may possibly finish it. Salt and ice, or snow, no doubt, will answer the purpose, but much time and patience are required. It is essential that the melted ice should have a chance to run off. The body should be frozen like a rock—so much so that the operator cannot tell whether he is cutting bone or muscle. Tooth is the only tissue he should be able to recognize. The sections should be made in a cold room, with a very sharp saw that has been chilled. When a section is cut, its surface is obscured by a thick half-frozen saw-dust, which is doubly thick if the freezing is not quite sufficient. It is wisest, if time allows, to remove this at once, which is done by pouring a little hot water over the section and brushing or scraping it off rapidly and carefully. This is a very delicate part of the process, and its successful performance has much to do with the beauty of the specimen. If it is to be kept, it should be laid on a piece of glass or wood, and placed at once, while still frozen, in cold alcohol.
More details: Harvard's Countway Library
. You can also read the full book online via Google Books
The Brith Milah School, established at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital in 1968, was the world’s first-ever (and only?) school for circumcision training. It was a two-year program followed by a one-year internship. (Seems like a lot of training for a relatively simple operation. Though I guess it's important not to mess it up.)
The first class graduated in 1970, but by the 1980s the school evidently no longer existed. According to a 1989 story on JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
it “ran into problems when it could not get malpractice insurance for trainees who were not physicians.”
Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle - Mar 22, 1968
Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle - Dec 25, 1970
I'm guessing the 50/50 chance didn't go in his favor.
Marion Star - Dec 28, 1995
This new book about the "Anatomical Venus"
looks to be fascinatingly weird. Lots more photos at the link.
Handy in or out of the operating room.
Order Yours Here
[Click to enlarge]
Given the state of medical science in 1911, this purported good result seems like sheer luck!
Original article here.
A British TV special about failed gastric band
surgeries that will air soon tells of some horrible ill effects people have suffered. One woman's band slipped causing part of her stomach to die. In addition to that fungus was growing on the band causing her to have a septic infection. As a result of the infection her stomach exploded. Wow, she really got her 8000 British pounds worth!
The Encyclopedia of Surgery explains:
In corneal transplant, also known as keratoplasty, a patient's damaged cornea is replaced by the cornea from the eye of a human cadaver. This is the most common type of human transplant surgery and has the highest success rate...
the eye is held open with a speculum. A laser is used to make an initial cut in the existing cornea. The surgeon uses scissors to remove it, and a donor cornea is placed. It is stitched with very fine sutures.
Image via reddit
reports that progress has been made on the problem of how to anesthetize a hippopotamus:
for a variety of reasons it has proven difficult to anaesthetize hippopotamuses. The thick skin and the dense subcutaneous tissue make it difficult to introduce sufficient amounts of anesthetics and opioid-based anesthetics often cause breathing irregularities and occasionally even death. In addition, the level of anesthesia is only rarely sufficient to enable surgery to be undertaken: few vets wish to be around when a drugged hippopotamus starts to wake up.
The solution involves "a new anesthetic protocol based on the use of two non-opiate drugs." This protocol was experimentally tested on 10 hippos, all of which "recovered rapidly and completely from the procedure and showed no lasting after-effects."
The interesting detail left out of the Science Daily
article, but which can be found in the original article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
, is that all 10 hippos were castrated while asleep. If they had woken up while that was happening, I'm sure they really would have been angry!