These 14 Deadly Facts of Victorian Surgery Will Shock You

These 14 Deadly Facts of Victorian Surgery Will Shock You

Loads of people hate going to the hospital, and they fear the thought of going to surgery even more. People always wonder, "What happens if it hurts? "Or" What if I was to wake up when I was under? "There are normal concerns that we have when we are most vulnerable, given the fact that doctors and surgeons are highly qualified professionals. Hospitals are, for the most part, extremely clean places, or at least cleaner than they have ever been.

This was not true back in the Victorian era, however. While Victorians saw introductions to modern surgical advancements such as anesthetics and the idea of germs, before these inventions, surgery was a grim and unforgiving activity. Unfortunately, many patients died as a result of these "advancements."

Many patients in surgery would have bleed to death. Others would have died of shock. Most of them had wounds that became infected, and later died of fever.

Due to lack of anesthesia, the surgeons had to work quickly. Amputation procedures have sometimes lasted as little as 30 seconds.

Clean operating rooms had a death rate of 1 in 10. The dirty operating room had a death rate of one in four. The connection was not discovered until later in the century.

Barbers often performed basic surgical tasks , especially during the war.

Leech was used as a common practice to remove blood prior to surgery.

The first surgical anesthetic was called Ether. It brought the patient under, but it also caused vomiting and was very flammable. This was tricky, because the operating rooms were lit by a candlelight.

Amputated limbs have been placed in sawdust to soak up blood.

Only the poor have lived in the hospitals. The rich would pay a doctor to take care of them at home.

Any limb with a fracture that had pierced the skin had to be amputated.

Beds in hospitals were often too close together, causing an unnecessary spread of disease.

Many surgeons took pride in wearing their frock coats, still coated with blood.

Any internal surgery was out of the question because there wasn’t medicine yet to sufficiently combat infection.

 Surgery was not even considered medicine. Physicians were seen as high class. Surgeons were on par with butchers.

 If the patient had a wound that was bleeding profusely, it was cauterized with a hot iron or had boiling oil poured onto it. 

I’m convinced that if needed to undergo surgery back then, I would have rather actively denied that I had a broken limb and just live my life in pain. Could you imagine getting a leg amputated for a fracture?