16th century battlefield medicine

16th century battlefield medicine

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 16th century battlefield surgery. This detailed illustration of a leg amputation by a military surgeon comes from the Feldtbuch der Wundartzney (“Field-book of the Wound Doctor”) by Hans von Gersdorff (1455-1529), the famous German surgeon. Published in 1517, it was based largely on the writings of Guy de Chauliac and became one of the foremost basic surgical texts in Europe for many years. While the surgeon saws with his right hand he is using his left hand as a tourniquet. The padded glove on an assistant “anaesthetises” the patient by hitting his head to produce unconsciousness by knocking him out.

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Keywords: 1517, 16th century, amputating leg, amputation, anaesthetic, artwork, battlefield, feldtbuch der wundartzney, field-book of the wound doctor, german, gersdorff, guy de chauliac, hans von gersdorrf, illustration, leg amputation, medical, medicine, military surgeon, surgery, wounds

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