37 Horrifying Medical Facts From History That Will Keep You Up At Night

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This anatomical wax model shows the internal organs in a female torso and head, including the lungs, liver, stomach, kidneys and intestines. Complete with the veins and arteries, the heart is entirely removable. The figure was made by Francesco Calenzuoli (1796-1821), an Italian model maker renowned for his attention to detail. Wax models were used for teaching anatomy to medical students because they made it possible to pick out and emphasize specific features of the body, making their structure and function easier to understand. This made them especially useful at a time when few bodies were available for dissection. #humananatomy #grossanatomy #histmed #medicalhistory #historyofmedicine #waxmodel #historystudent #medstudent #medschool

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Cephalotribe, c.1750. This is a skull-crushing instrument. Cephalotribes were used by male-midwives (early obstetricians) in the 18th century. The instrument pierced and crushed the fetus head to extract it from the mother’s body in cases where the baby had already died and the woman's life was at risk. Want to know more about in utero conditions and other interesting pathologies? This Wednesday – set your alarm! Dr. Drew (@drdrewhln) and Dr. Bruce are doing a new podcast called #WeeklyInfusions. In the first episode, they will be talking to the pathologist @Mrs_Angemi, who will be discussing three #MysteryDiagnosis. Check out @Mrs_Angemi’s account for more info (and fascinating posts on anatomy/pathology)! She’ll be posting photos of each Mystery Diagnosis the night before so you can play along. #iheartautopsy #mrsangemi #pathology #grossanatomy #humananatomy #histmed #historyofmedicine #medicalhistory #drdrew #podcast #midwives #medstudent #nursingstudent #historystudent

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The ornate gold decoration and ebony handle of this 17th-century amputation saw would have impressed patients. But the handle was not comfortable to use, and could slow down the speed of the operation. Moreover, the lavish decoration harbored germs, risking further infection. By the late 19th century, amputation saws were smaller, stronger, and lighter. They were plain in design and made of one or two metal pieces, which could be sterilized easily after the introduction of antisepsis. Anesthetics were also introduced, and surgeons had longer to perform more complicated operations. But in the 1600s, there was not much you could have offered your patient, other than a drop of alcohol. My upcoming book focuses on the transformation of surgery from a butchering art into a modern science – and will be out next October! Can’t wait to share it with you. #histmed #medicalhistory #amwriting #medschoollife #medstudent #historystudent #amputations #museumobject

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Plaster cast of dissected torso (female) showing the internal organs which have become displaced after years of wearing a corset, 19th century. Alongside it is a corset, possibly 18th century. Today, wearing a corset is not typically harmful. But in the past, many women wore corsets all day, every day, beginning at a young age and throughout their formative years. This could have dire effects on their development. Moreover, wearing a corset day-in and day-out could weaken a woman’s core since she would not have to rely on her own muscles to hold her posture. Even if they had wanted, many Victorian women could not stop wearing their corsets after using them for so many years because of their atrophied muscles. This may also explain why pregnant women wore corsets during this period. This plaster cast and corset are now part of the Science Museum in London. Note: the torso is upside down for some inexplicable reason. #corsets #deformity #histmed #historyofmedicine #medicalhistory #medicalhistorian #histsci #corsettraining #victorianfashion #victorian #museumobject #corsetlife #hourglassfigure #fashion2die4 #humananatomy #grossanatomy

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