Tag: surgery

A Horrifying Pregnancy and Cesarean Operation in Eighteenth-Century Ireland

i thought about this Posted on July 28, 2013 by - Early Modern History, Gender History, History of Medicine, Patients, Philosophical Transactions



A surgeon performing a Caesarean operation on an agonized woman who had apparently been carrying a dead baby in her womb for five years. (Reproduction, 1933, of a woodcut, 1560.) Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

http://sundarabali.com/?proktolog=best-binary-options-signal-services&c9e=48 A surgeon performing a Caesarean operation on an agonized woman who had apparently been carrying a dead baby in her womb for five years. (Reproduction, 1933, of a woodcut, 1560.) Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

over here John Copping, the Dean of Clogher, wrote two letters to Hans Sloane in 1738 about a “Caesarian Operation performed by an ignorant Butcher” (British Library Sloane MS 4055, ff. 293-295, ff. 334-338). Copping first heard about the case of Sarah McKinna of Brentram, which had happened four years previously, from another clergyman. He then visited the McKinna family.

binär option handel Mrs McKinna married at the age of sixteen. She did not menstruate until after marriage and then it took nearly a decade for her to become pregnant. Two months after giving birth to a second child, Mrs McKinna again developed the usual symptoms of pregnancy. The symptoms continued as expected over the next nine months, but then stopped suddenly. Over the next seven years, she had no menstrual periods and was “perpetually afflicted with the most violent Pains” in her abdomen.

anonymous At this point, she developed a swollen abdomen and, once more, the symptoms of pregnancy. Seven months into this “uncertain account”, she developed what she thought was a boil about the size of a goose-egg just above her navel, which gave her “very great Pain” and leaked a “watery humour”. A midwife and three or four physicians visited her, but unable to help, “left her as a dying Woman”.

http://creatingsparks.com.gridhosted.co.uk/?endonezit=best-online-binary-options-broker The “boil” then broke:  “from this Orifice started the Elbow of a Child, which hung some Days by the Skin, visible to abundance: At length she cut if off for her own Relief”.* Mrs McKinna sent for local butcher, Turlog O’Neill. By the time he arrived, Mrs McKinna was in “an expiring condition” and “begged him to help her”. He did not do this lightly: “the Man was frightened, and went to sleep”. When he awoke, he acted decisively, giving “her a large Draught of Sack, and I suppose, took one himself”.  

straight from the source O’Neill “made so large an Incision above and below the Navel, as enabled him, by fixing his Fingers under the Jaw of the Foetus, to extract it”. The hole was, according to Mr McKinna, “as large as his Hat”. O’Neill had to pull the bone “backward and forward to loosen it”. Bad enough. But keep in mind,Mrs McKinna was conscious the entire time, her senses numbed only by the large glass of fortified wine.

Work from home jobs in .net After removing the jaw, O’Neill spotted something black inside the hole—other bones. He removed as many as he could, but some remained inside, over time working their way out through the navel or “from the Womb the natural Way”. Each instance caused Mrs McKinna great pain.

http://jonmcculloch.com/?svil=trading-di-opzioni-binarie-Franco&ebf=95 trading di opzioni binarie Franco According to the story that Copping first heard, Mrs McKinna fully recovered within six weeks and only had a small rupture in the belly. The situation was not nearly so cheery, Copping discovered:“She might be about the House, but she was 15 Months confined to the House”. The hole was still so large that Copping was able to “put a Finger a pretty Way up into the Body”… four years after the operation.

tinder site rencontres Copping, who had sympathetically described Mrs McKinna’s pain throughout his account, raised a collection so that she could be treated in Dublin.

moved here A horrifying case, but it does tell us much about the eighteenth-century world. While we tend to see the experience of pregnancy as self-evident, it was not always so clear-cut for early modern women. Stopped menstruation was not unusual for women in poor health or who lived in poverty, as Mrs McKinna did. Copping, for example, described the McKinnas as ignorant, with poor speech. Mrs McKinna may have had many of the signs of pregnancy, but such signs could also be interpreted as health problems such as dropsy, especially if no baby appeared. In any case, she had a prior history of irregular menstruation.

http://buiu.net/?selred=dating-a-guy-who-isn%27t-a-virgin Copping’s account highlights the growing demands for better medical and scientific evidence during the eighteenth century. He did not just provide the clergyman’s anecdote as fact, but followed it up with the McKinna family in person. He corrected the clergyman’s version: the woman took nearly ten years, not two, to conceive; the woman did not recover as well as rumour suggested;  the operation did not occur all at once, but in several parts. By the 1730s just being interesting was not enough for a case to appear in the Philosophical Transactions.+

buy Tastyliaonline no prescription Mrs McKinna and her “putrefied” baby were certainly medical curiosities at the time. Copping, like everyone else, treated them as such. He noted, for example, that he could not send any of the bones to Sloane because other physicians had already taken them. But he did at least act ensure that the long-suffering woman would receive treatment– unlike the vultures who had scavenged bits of the skeleton without even stopping to close up Mrs McKinna’s wounds.

var köper man Sildenafil Citrate i sverige *Fetuses occasionally develop outside the uterus. See here for a recent case.

buy Seroquel fed ex +Admittedly, the issue in which it appeared had its fair share of odd cases, from monstrous births to odd items in urine.

A Curious Case of a Petrified Leg

The Sloane Correspondence contains several examples of curious medical cases, many of which were intended for publication in the Philosophical Transactions (which Sloane as secretary of the Royal Society edited for many years). One such case is that of Mrs Stevens of Maidenhead, aged 62. Surgeon Ralph Calep recounted her case in a letter to anatomist William Cowper, who in turn forwarded it to Sloane for publication.

Mrs Stevens became ill with a fever in November 1697. Within two weeks, she developed a swelling and numbness in her foot that spread up her leg. For a month, the attending physician treated her with remedies that theoretically should have helped according to early modern medical thought. The first treatment was a warm, moist compress of centaury, wormwood, and St. John’s Wort. According to the Pharmacopoia Londinensis (1702), these ingredients all had hot and dry properties and cleansed and treated wounds. Centaury might be used to treat scurvy (often seen as a skin problem) or gout, while wormwood was thought useful in resisting putrefaction. St. John’s Wort was supposed to dissolve bad blood and cure wounds. The second remedy, an oil of turpentine with galbanum, was to relieve pain, soften the skin, and reduce the tumour.

By the time surgeon Ralph Calep saw Mrs Stevens in early 1698, her foot and leg were in a bad way: brown and withered with black spots and no feeling in the leg. She was in great pain and occasionally delirium, begging Calep for help. But the only solution Calep could think of was to remove the leg, which Mrs Stevens refused. Calep thought this was best since he “did not expect any Success in the performing of it”, given her age and weakness, and left “supposing I shou’d never see her more”. He advised her friends to continue the compresses.

Amputation scene, “De gangraena et sphacelo”
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

A month later, Calep returned and was surprised to discover Mrs Stevens still alive, though with a hole in her leg that discharged black matter. Calep enlarged the opening to aid the flow. He also cut into a tumour on her knee, but was surprised to find nothing but air. He again left the patient, advising her to continue the compresses. When he returned another month later, he was not only surprised to find her still alive, but “to my admiration saw that, which thro’ the whole course of my Life I may never see again”: Nature had made a perfect separation of the mortified flesh, with the skin above looking healthy. At this point, he decided to remove the leg. Now, over ten years later, the woman was still alive! For Phil. Trans. readers, this would have indeed been a fascinating case—a peculiar physical problem, with a remedy that demonstrated the power of nature’s healing.

For the historian, the tale is intriguing for a couple other reasons. First: the surgeons’ claims to authority. Calep had one complaint after the amputation. He had hoped to take the leg for dissection, but “the Friends of the Woman deceived me”. They had promised to keep the leg for him, but then buried it in a secret location. Calep’s authority rested in his careful observation over time, as well as the verification of the story by Cowper. Cowper included a note to Sloane stating that he had also been to visit Mrs Stevens, though he had been unable to look at the thigh. Mrs Stevens was “decrepid” and the weather was too cold for her to show him. He did, however, feel the stump through her clothing and Cowper diagnosed her problem as one of petrification in the arteries. This problem, he had previously seen in “aged Persons” or cases of gangrene, and had published on it. Cowper’s authority rested in his reputation and previous scholarship.

William Cowper. Credit: National Library of Medicine and Wikimedia Commons.

But what is striking is the absence of real evidence: the amputated leg had disappeared and Cowper had not actually examined Mrs Stevens’ stump in detail. In the late seventeenth century, natural philosophers were establishing what counted as good evidence. Close observation and reputation were two of the crucial elements, but both surgeons recognised that their accounts would have been even more compelling if they had been able to examine the leg and stump. Each explained in detail why they had not done so.

The case is also interesting for what it tells us about the relationships among surgeon, patient, and patient’s friends. The “friends” (which would have included family) were important throughout, ensuring that Mrs Stevens received good care during her illness. Mrs Stevens also continued to have full control over her medical care, despite her occasional delirium. She refused the only treatment Calep could offer, amputation, until her leg started the process of separation itself. She was typical of many patients in this regard, who generally avoided surgery until it became the only option–unsurprising in an age without anaesthesia. Later, she also refused to show Cowper her stump in its entirety.

The patient’s control over the disposal of the body part appears to have been more contentious. Calep certainly wanted the leg for scientific purposes—at the very least for dissection, but possibly even intending to preserve it as a sample. He even seemed to expect that he should have it, suggesting that he’d been tricked out of having it when he called the friends deceitful. For Mrs Stevens, by contrast, there may have been some anxiety surrounding the leg’s dissection: what might happen to her body at the Resurrection? Was it shameful? By burying the leg, Mrs Stevens’ friends would have been acting on her wishes, or seeking to protect her.

A curious case, indeed, for contemporaries and historians alike!