In the late 19th century, an inexperienced doctor performed his first surgery in a room full of people. Feeling the pressure, he felt the need to perform the amputation in the quickest time possible, and ended up amputating his patient’s arm in the space of around 25 seconds. In the process of this, he accidentally amputated his assistant’s fingers too. Both patient and assistant died of sepsis, and a spectator died from shock, making it the only operation ever with a 300% mortality rate.

how badly…can one person fuck up….

I mean in retrospect if you ever feel like a fuck up just know you will always be less of a fuck up than the guy that killed 3 people in one room where only one of them was the person he was operating on.

so, i google-searched for this image and there are some discrepancies in the original post. like he’s holding a leg in the painting and that’s what he wanted to amputate, not an arm and it took him 2.5 minutes. the doctor guy was named Robert Liston and he was not inexperienced, apparently speed-surgeries were his THING. According to wikipedia: “he is reputed to have been able to complete operations in a matter of seconds, at a time when speed was essential to reduce pain and improve the odds of survival of a patient”. Makes sense, but still:

He sprung across the blood-stained boards upon his swooning, sweating, strapped-down patient like a duelist, calling, ‘Time me gentlemen, time me!’ to students (…)

his 3 most famous surgeries are (still off Wikipedia)

  • “Argument with his house-surgeon. Was the red, pulsating tumour in a small boy’s neck a straightforward abscess of the skin, or a dangerous aneurism of the carotid artery? ‘Pooh!’ Liston exclaimed impatiently. ‘Whoever heard of an aneurism in one so young?’ Flashing a knife from his waistcoat pocket, he lanced it. Houseman’s note – ‘Out leaped arterial blood, and the boy fell.’ The patient died but the artery lives, in University College Hospital pathology museum, specimen No. 1256.”
  • “Amputated the leg in 212 minutes, but in his enthusiasm the patient’s testicles as well.”
  • “Amputated the leg in under 212 minutes (the patient died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene; they usually did in those pre-Listerian days). He amputated in addition the fingers of his young assistant (who died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene). He also slashed through the coat tails of a distinguished surgical spectator, who was so terrified that the knife had pierced his vitals he dropped dead from fright. That was the only operation in history with a 300 percent mortality.”

so…………………… matter how much you fuck up, you’ll probably never fuck up as badly as this guy.




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