Artwork of a 16th century leg amputation

Artwork of a 16th century leg amputation

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Leg amputation. Illustration of a leg amputation in the 16th century. The surgeon is cutting through the leg with a saw as blood spurts out of the arteries. One of his assistants is collecting the severed limb. The other has temporarily "anaesthetised" the patient by hitting him in the head with a padded glove until he lost conscious- ness. Surgery at this time was painful and risky as anaesthetic & antiseptic drugs were not invented until the 19th century. The accepted medical practice of the day was for surgeons to complete their work as quickly as physically possible. Amputations were often performed to treat infected wounds (gangrene). Image from 1517.

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Keywords: 16th century, 16th century surgery, amputati, amputation, anaesthetist, gangrene, healthcare, historical, historical image, history, leg, medical, medicine, surgery, surgical care, treatment

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