Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Part Two - Compound fractures and Anesthesia

Thank you to the Melnick Medical Museum for image

Part Two – Compound fractures and Anesthesia

In Part One, I introduced Doctor Joseph Lister who pioneered the use of carbolic acid for a cleaner surgical suite. Prior to his discoveries and techniques, most compound fractures—a fracture with an open wound at or near the fracture; any protruding bone qualifies—ended with amputation. 

When a doctor tried to save a limb, such a high percentage of such patients died from infections that would set in, he usually elected to cut it off instead of saving it—an excruciatingly painful procedure, but over quick enough.  

The use of inhalants to sedate a patient wasn’t an option before the 1840s. Before that, a patient might be given alcohol to dull the senses, but men had to literally hold the patient down for a doctor to operate.  

The highly flammable liquid ether, colorless and pleasant-smelling, can be vaporized into a gas that numbs pain but leaves patients conscious.

Although Georgia physician Crawford Williamson Long is credited with first using the drug to sedate his surgical patient while he removed a tumor from the man’s neck in 1842, he didn’t publish the successful results of his experiments until ’48. 

By that time, Boston dentist William T. G. Morton had gained fame for the first public demonstration of the use of ether in surgery. 

Interesting side note on anesthesia—The famous author Oliver Wendell Holmes, after witnessing Morton’s ether demo, called the process of putting a patient to an unconscious state to avoid pain of surgery “anesthesia” from the Greek word “anaisthesis”, meaning insensibility or the lack of sensation.    

So the news of the new use of ether spread—all the way to Scotland where an obstetrician, Sir James Young Simpson experimented with it to reduce the pain of labor. 

Chloroform is created by chlorination of methane gas and, like ether, is also a colorless, pleasant-smelling liquid. It works quicker with a narcotic-like effect on the central nervous system. 

Simpson tried it in place of the ether, continuing against the protests of other obstetricians and clergy. However, the method of administering it needed more skill as several times early on, it resulted in death. 

His research helped popularise its use around the world over ether, and by 1853, as physician to Queen Victoria, Simpson administrated chloroform to her during the birth of her eighth child.  

Though in the beginning ether proved safer than chloroform, once the proper dosages for the latter were mastered, it became the anesthetic of choice. Neither are used today as so many newer and more effective inhalants have been developed. 

In 1877, Doctor Joseph Lister (from Part One) operated on a fractured patella (kneecap) and wired the two bone fragments together with silver wire. If not for anesthesia (chloroform and ether) and his practice of antiseptic surgery, such an operation would have been considered torture. 

And the patient most likely would die a horrible death. But the surgery was a success! 

This and other such successful operations expanded the field of “open reduction*” (what they called treating a compound fracture) and it became commonplace instead of a rarity.     

*Wikipedia’s definition of “open reduction” – Reduction is a surgical procedure to repair a fracture or dislocation to the correct alignment. “Open reduction” is where the fracture fragments are exposed surgically by dissecting the tissues. And “Closed reduction” is the manipulation of the bone fragments without surgical exposure of the fragments.

I have been having so much fun researching medical practices and advancements in equipment for my upcoming (June 9, 2020) book A Bride for Jacob in the Nursing the Hearts collection series and was sure you'd find it as interesting! 

My next release is Bitter Honey, book 22 of the awesome, ongoing Lockets and Lace Collection series and my third contribution in as many years. Its heroine Samantha Adams was first introduced in UNIQUELY COMMON and then she also appeared in REMI. Now it's her turn for her own story.

It’s personally a milestone for me! My fiftieth title to be published! Ten traditionally and now forty as an independent since the fall of 2014!

Jacket Copy: With God, all things are possible.
But can lost love be found again or two wounded hearts knitted together? Young love, sweeter than honey, is separated by a natural disaster and turns bitter. After five years, a miracle reunites Samantha Adams and Silas Mercier, but it seems it’s too late. Will love prevail?

All 2020 Lockets and Lace Titles

20. Transforming Emma by Linda Carroll-Bradd
21. Cassie’s Surprise by Patricia PACJAC Carroll
22. Bitter Honey by Caryl McAdoo
23. Grace Uninmagined by Abagail Eldan
24. Ginger Snap by Marisa Masterson
25. Hannah’s Handkerchief by Zina Abbott
26. Willow’s Worth by Kimberly Grist

I’d like to invite y’all to a multi-author “March Book Launches Celebration” on Tuesday the 31st at this Facebook group--- Christian & Sweet-n-Clean Book Launches.  We’ll have lots of fun, games and giveaways! 

And save another date! April 6th the Lockets & Lace Launch Celebration at the Sweet Americana Book Club!  


Bio: Praying her story gives God glory, hybrid author Caryl McAdoo writes in several genres, including Biblical fiction, contemporary Christian romance, young adults and mid-grade, and her most popular historical Christian romance----her family saga series are readers' favorites. Caryl's next book launching in March will be her fiftieth title published.

She and Ron, husband of fifty-plus years share four children and eighteen grandsugars, life's biggest blessings according to Caryl. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County, in the far northeast corner of Texas with five dogs and a plethora of barn cats.

Caryl loves hearing from readers! Contact her through any of these (following, subscribing, and liking):  Website   Amazon   BookBub   Facebook   

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