Thank Goodness For Modern Medicine, Part Three

And now, Gill returns to make us simultaneously cringe and feel grateful to be alive now.

From Sheep livers to find out what’s wrong with you to radiated toothpaste, we talk more old-timy medicine.

  • 1 Sheep’s liver as an X-ray – In what is now Iraq physicians didn’t have x-rays to tell whether you had a sprain or a break, so what did they use? Well they would sacrifice a sheep, look at the liver of said sheep, and diagnose you that way.
  • 2 Osteotome – Invented circa 1830 this saw was originally used to cut in to the skull, later it was used in arm and leg amputations. Early neurological surgeons figured it much easier to use this rather than a reciprocating saw, because of its ability to do cleaner cuts.
  • 3 Artificial leaches – Often used in ear and eye surgery this object invented by a French surgeon circa 1840 was two blades to cut the skin, and a vacuum tube to catch the blood. If the surgeon cleaned it between uses it proved more sanitary than actual infection spreading leaches.
  • 4 Radiated Toothpaste – At the dawn of the 20th century people were unaware of the effects of radiation, and it became a thing to put radium in everything from water to toothpaste.
  • 5 Lobotomy- Up until medications came new in the middle of the 20th century people like myself who do have mental illnesses had few treatment options. One of the most barbaric was the lobotomy. Surgeons would ram an ice pick through the corner of the victim, I mean patient’s eye and sever the connection between the frontal lobe and rest of the brain. If the person receiving the treatment survived they were often times left severely mentally disabled.


Have I forgotten any treatments from the past? If so, write in.

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