The Thomas splint revolutionized emergency medicine during World War I. This device diminished the mortality rate of femoral fractures from 80% to 20%.
The most interesting thing about the myth of tear catchers is that it is totally believable considering that mourning was an outward artistic social expression to the Victorians.
The Victorians did not shy away from bright colors and patterns in their homes, and they were certainly unaware that some of those home design choices could cost them their lives.
What is a Scarificator? Bloodletting remains to be one of the oldest and far-reaching medical practices of all time. Before the development of the spring-loaded scarificator, veins in a patient’s arms and neck were cut into. The procedure as a whole was extremely slow and painful (patients probably didn’t smile like paintings would lead you…Read more »
The clockwork saw is a fascinating, yet little-known invention that never made it past the prototype phase. Developed by WHB Winchester (1816-1901), the clockwork saw was a hand-wound amputation device. The surgeon would crank the handle tight and then let go, causing the blade to spin rapidly. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the saw was not…Read more »
Did you ever think that a tumor could contain hair, bone, and teeth? Well, a special kind of tumor known as teratoma can, and their appearance can be nightmare-inducing. “Teratos” is the Greek word for “monster,” so teratomas are essentially monster tumors (McRae). Despite the name, teratomas are usually benign and easy to treat once…Read more »
The x-ray was discovered rather unexpectedly in a lab in Bovaria. In 1895, scientist Wilhelm Röntgen was conducting an experiment to see if cathode rays had the ability to pass through glass. He was mesmerized by the green light that was emitted and noticed that the beam could pass through most solid objects, all except…Read more »
The practice of eating dirt is known today as geophagy and it originates from antiquity. Eating dirt and clay was used as a cure for a number of ailments, but the most common were upset stomachs and poisoning. In 1581, Wendel Thumblardt of Germany was sentenced to death by hanging for a series of robberies…Read more »
In the spirit of continuing the recent discussion on John Hunter, let us dive into the complicated tale behind the bodily remains of Mr. Charles Byrne. Charles Byrne, or the “Irish Giant,” as he is often referred to as, was born in 1761 in Derry (McMahon). He suffered from a form of genetic gigantism in…Read more »
Since the 1920s, it was not uncommon for women to see advertisements that made large claims about the cleaning agent, Lysol, and it’s ability to prevent failed marriages and unwanted pregnancies. In fact, Lysol has had a lengthy past as an unregulated female douching solution, and between the 1930s and 1960s, it was one of…Read more »
(Photo Credit: Medicine: The Definitive Illustrated History. Take note of the early stethoscope’s shape) If you have ever been to a medical office, then you’ve most likely seen a stethoscope before. Stethoscopes are important diagnostic tools that allow practicing physicians to listen to your chest with ease. It is hard to believe that a tool used…Read more »