The first one procedure, 300% mortality rate– and other great stories. History of Surgery…A Must Read

The History of Surgery
N Engl J Med 2012; 366:1716-1723

Wow. What a great article. Here is a sample.

Liston, like many other surgeons, proceeded in his usual lightning-quick and bloody way. Spectators in the operating-theater gallery would still get out their pocket watches to time him. The butler’s operation, for instance, took an astonishing 25 seconds from incision to wound closure. (Liston operated so fast that he once accidentally amputated an assistant’s fingers along with a patient’s leg, according to Hollingham. The patient and the assistant both died of sepsis, and a spectator reportedly died of shock, resulting in the only known procedure with a 300% mortality.)”
Mass General, 1941

Joseph Lister (listerine) washing a surgical site with carbolic acid.

Methods of amputation in the early 1800s

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