X-ray injuries to physician's hand, 1920s

X-ray injuries to physician's hand, 1920s

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: X-ray injuries to physician's hand, 1920s. Close-up of the injuries to the left hand of US physician and X-ray pioneer Frederick Henry Baetjer (1874-1933), who is holding an X-ray device. Baetjer was Chief of the X-ray Department of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, USA, for some 20 years. He travelled abroad from 1902 to study how X-rays were used in Europe. He became Professor of Roentgenology at Johns Hopkins in 1921. Baetjer suffered severely from radiation injuries caused by X-rays: dermatitis, loss of fingernails, keratotic patches, deformed nails, stiff joints, ulcers, severe pain, and eventual amputation of parts of the fingers and hands. Baetjer underwent over 100 operations related to his X-ray injuries (visible here). He eventually died from radiation-induced cancers. This photograph dates from the period 1921 to 1923. For the full photograph, see image C030/3131.

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