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History of Surgery.
The first 200 words of this essay...
a) Trepanation was one of the earliest forms of surgery and was common practice in prehistoric times. It involved drilling a small hole in the head to release evil spirits trapped inside the body that were supposedly causing the patient ill health. Although skulls that have survived from the prehistoric age show signs that some people survived after trepanation, many people would have died after having this operation from infection or even the pain of it. In the Middle Ages and throughout the Renaissance cauterisation was used. This was when a hot iron was used to seal the wound left after amputation. Amputations were carried out using saws, which would have caused the patient great pain. Also the medical instruments used at this time were not cleaned properly so the chance of infection and the spread of disease was high. Effective anaesthetics were not in wide use by surgeons before 1840 and the only other option that they had were to give the patient alcohol or opium which would not ease the patients pain; if anything it would worsen the patients health.
b) After 1840 the use of anaesthetics in surgery increased.
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