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Illustration of a leg amputation performed in the home, from a surgical work of 1592 (source unknown). The brazier on the right heats the irons used to cauterise the wound. Amputation was often the only course of action following a serious wound, due to sepsis, or blood poisoning. Not until 1867, when Joseph Lister introduced the use of antiseptics to prevent infection of surgical wounds, was sepsis brought under control.
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