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Old 06-24-2017, 03:30 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 29,204
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Sawing off gangrenous limbs.
Coincidentally, I've been reading David Oshinsky's Bellevue, which talks about 19th century pre-Lister surgery, and the success rate for amputating limbs (without killing the patient) was about 50%, since post-op infection was very common.

Besides which, the lack of effective anesthesia made things dicier even if you survived. Supposedly surgeons at Bellevue had an "informed consent" procedure at the time which involved asking the patient "Will you have the leg off?". If the patient lost his nerve and said no, he was taken back to the ward. If the patient said yes, they proceeded to saw off the leg as fast as possible, ignoring all protests/screams while holding down the patient till the amputation was finished.