Illustration of Thomas Spencer Wells, a London surgeon, during an abdominal operation on a woman patient. Spencer Wells lived from 1818 to 1897. He is remembered as the inventor of the Spencer Wells forceps, a common design of clamp still used to seal blood vessels. The patient is receiving chloroform as an anaesthetic, introduced into medicine in 1847 by Sir James Young Simpson as a more convenient substance compared to the previously used ether.
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