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Elective Amputation: From 1846 to Recent Times

Summary

Amputees before anaesthesia recorded amazing examples of sangfroid during surgery, including that of children, often buttressed by strong religious convictions. Others admitted to real pain and terror. In 1846, general anaesthesia not only relieved patients but gave surgeons time to operate more accurately and also pursue alternative operations which avoided amputation. Despite this miraculous advance, surgery remained hazarded by lethal wound infections until prophylactic chemical sterilisation commenced in 1867, to be further reinforced by thermal sterilisation about 1890. Sadly, the 20th century saw warfare on an unprecedented scale, stimulating, however, splintage systems, transfusion, antibiotics, evacuation methods, arterial repair and intensive patient care. Many severe limb injuries are now remediable, although there are limits to the pursuit of reconstruction.

Keywords

Gunshot Wound Arterial Repair Antiseptic Treatment Union Army Reconstructed Painting 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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