The Chloroformist, by Christine Ball

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

I’m going to preface my thoughts about Christine Ball’s fascinating story of The Chloroformist who brought anaesthesia to the operating table with a confession: I am brave about snakes, spiders and the dentist, but although everybody else has their cataracts done with a local anaesthetic, I didn’t.  I got myself in such a state about the mere idea of being conscious while they messed about with my eyes, that they had to knock me out properly to do it.  I felt even more ashamed of myself when I read in the first chapter, the list of procedures performed without anaesthetic during the chloroformist’s apprenticeship :

For the rest of the summer, young Joseph Clover followed Dr Lubbock around Norfolk.  Together, they excised skin tumours, opened abscesses, divided contracted tendons, tapped hydrocoeles, amputated toes and removed a cataract.  All these procedures were performed on conscious, terrified patients who were held tightly…

View original post 924 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Reblogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s