Tag Archives: England

Blood and bandages

Patricia A. Unsworth Bolton, England, United Kingdom   Photograph by the author. The notorious Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, is possibly the first thought that comes to mind at the mention of barber surgeons, but how far from reality was this character of Victorian fiction? Perhaps not so far removed as one […]

Bloody beginnings of hematology

Sherin Jose Chockattu Bengaluru, India Bloodletting in 1860 – one of only three known photographs of the procedure. This photo is from the Burns Archive collection. Source His pole, with pewter basins hung, Black, rotten teeth in order strung, Rang’d cups that in the window stood, Lin’d with red rags, to look like blood, Did […]

Grit

Romalyn Ante Wolverhampton, England   My mother is right—my brother’s blood is getting dirtier. A nurse like me, she had read the result of his glomerular filtration rate, a test that measures how well the kidneys clean the blood. It had dropped below 15, an indication that his chronic renal failure was reaching its end […]

Brief encounters

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Quicksilver in blue. Photo by Anthony Papagiannis. Doctor-patient relationships are as unique as the potential pairs of doctors and patients. At one end of the spectrum there is the one-time encounter, usually for some straightforward and self-limiting problem: the doctor may never see the patient again. At the other extreme, […]

Scurvy before James Lind

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Captain James Cook (1728-1779). Nathaniel Dance. BHC2628 Cures of disease are still relatively uncommon. Scurvy is an example of a disease well recognized but whose cause eluded doctors for centuries until an empirical curative remedy and later a specific cause were discovered. In more recent times Koch’s discovery […]

Gordon Morgan Holmes MD., FRS.

JMS Pearce Hull, England Figure 1: Gordon Holmes “Beneath the exterior of a martinet there was an Irish heart of gold” Wilder Penfield Gordon Holmes (1876-1965) was born in Castlebellingham, Ireland. He was named after his father, a landowner, descended from a Yorkshire family that had settled in King’s County (County Offaly) in the mid-seventeenth […]

Theme

WOMEN IN MEDICINE Published in November, 2019 H E K T O R A M A     .     ALICE HAMILTON     The squalid streets of working-class Chicago in the late nineteenth century would have been something of a shock to the girl who grew up in a sheltered but educated household […]

Nicholas Culpeper and Herbal Medicine

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig. 1 Nicholas Culpeper Apart from crude measures such as amputation and surgery without anesthesia, most medical treatments were ineffective until the twentieth century. Herbal remedies dominated from the time of ancient Hindu and Chinese cultures. Herbals were used by the Greek scholar Theophrastus (371 – 287 BC) and by […]

“Rich man, poor man”: a history of lead poisoning

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Comfort in the Gout. Thomas Rowlandson. 1802. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The history of lead poisoning is the history of human industry. For unmarked time, lead has been around causing abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, and irritability, as well as conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, reduced fertility, […]