Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Steps of an Amputation

From nps.gov

1. The limb was prepared for the initial incision.
2. A circular incision would be made around the limb, cutting away the first layer of skin and
then the next all the way down to the bone.
3. An assistant surgeon would use either his hands or a piece of cloth to retract the soft tissue
and muscle and the capital saw was used to saw through the bone.
4. A tenaculum was used to draw out any larger vessels and tie them off with sutures. Often
times, catgut sutures, were preferred because they dissolved after time, making them unnecessary to remove them at a later date.
5. The skin and tissue was then pulled down over the stump and a dressing was applied.


How would the limb be prepared.

Depending on what you mean, prepping the limb to be cut off, they usually would clean the wound as best as they can and prep the incision mark where they would basically saw off the desired part.

If it was a limb that wasn't being cut off because of a wound, such as a cripples' leg, they would wash the limb and then cut it off. They usually put the patient to sleep with a chlorophorm mix and try to get the surgery done before they wake up, which they usually did.
There are all these horror stories about people 'back then' going off and chopping a limb off and then sending the person on their way, but it was more complicated than that, they usually woke up from their sleep, and usually what killed them were shock or untreated infection.

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