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Inquest and Doctors' Reports Forum for discussion of the coroner's reports and inquest reports for the various victims of the Whitechapel Murders, including the observations and autopsy reports by the attending physicians

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Old January 8th, 2015, 04:12 PM   #1
Howard Brown
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Default **Dr. Lawson Tait**

Thread for information relative to the physician considered the father of gynecology, Lawson Tait.
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Old January 8th, 2015, 04:57 PM   #2
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As Howard states Dr Lawson Tait was the father of gynaecological surgery.
But he was much more than this and medical history shows that he was the leading light in surgical procedures which today we take for granted.

ANTISEPSIS or ASEPSIS?
Most people today use the expression "antisepsis" to imply the prevention of infection. In fact the correct term should be "asepsis".
Antisepsis was term coined for the methodology developed by Lord Joseph Lister, who, in 1857, experimented on frogs and bats (A J Youngson. The Scientific Revolution in Victorian Medicine. 1979), which he claimed led him to the idea of developing a system to combat infection (Lord J Lister. Evidence before the Royal Commission on Vivisection 1 Nov 1875). Lister eventually hit on the idea of carbolic acid (M Goodman. Lister Ward. Adam Higler [pub] 1987), introduced lint soaked in carbolic acid in 1867 (Lord J Lister. Lancet. 21 Sep 1867), carbolic acid spray in 1871/2, but Lister`s method caused numerous problems to surgical staff and patients ((F F Cartright. A Social History of Medicine. Longmans [pub] 1977). Tait rejected Lister`s method and instead adopted cleanliness. Tait washed his hands in soap and water rather than Lister`s method of soaking hands in carbolic; Tait wore a clean mackintosh rather than Lister`s method of pinning an unsteralized towel, encrusted with blood from previous operations, over his waistcoat (J Shepherd. Lawson Tait - The Rebellious Surgeon. Coronado Press [pub]. 1980). It was not until after World War 1 that Lister`s methods were abandoned (F F Cartright. A Social History of Medicine. Longmans [pub]. 1977), although Lister`s name is still credited with the introduction of antisepsis.

more on Lawson Tait and why he was dispised - to follow...
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Old January 8th, 2015, 05:21 PM   #3
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Stevi:
Briefly...
This is one of those bizarre coincidences that I experience on a regular basis..
Yesterday, for some reason I found myself on a page related to Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., the American Renaissance man.
Holmes was the first to advocate hand washing as a means of eradicating bacteria ( to defeat puerperal fever) in 1843...some 20 to 30 years before Lister and Tait.

One reason he was disliked was his position on rape...he concluded many men were railroaded by false accusations made by women.
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Old January 8th, 2015, 05:35 PM   #4
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Tait's 1889 Diseases Of Women & Abdominal Surgery....free PDF in various formats :

http://www.forgottenbooks.com/books/..._v1_1000124799
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Old January 8th, 2015, 05:53 PM   #5
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NEPHRECTOMY - surgery of kidneys
The first to remove a large tumour of the kidney was Erastus Wolcott of New York, USA in 1861 (F H Garrison. History of Medicine. W B Saunders [pub]. 1929). In 1870, Gustav Simon of Heidelberg, Germany experimented on dogs and then performed the operation on a human, removing the kidney (Sir Henry Morris. Evidence before the Royal Commission on Vivisection. 8 May 1907). Simon performed another operation on a human patient, who died of sepsis, caused by Simon`s exploration (F H Garrison. History of Medicine. W B Saunders [pub]. 1929).
Tait examined a patient, by the vaginal route, in 1881 and discovered a tumour of kidney origin, and later that year performed his first nephrectomy and the patient recovered. Tait announced the results of his operation at a meeting of the British Medical Association in 1882 and published the results in 1884 and went on to perform 21 such operations, with only 4 deaths - the highest success rate achieved. (J A Shepherd. Lawson Tait - the Rebellious Surgeon. Coronado Press [pub]. 1980. Tait explained, at a lecture of the Birmingham Philosophical Society in April 1888, that his success had been due to clinical observation and totally rejected the idea of animal experiments contributing to the advancement of surgery - not on any sentiment or "love of animals" but on scientific and medical grounds (address recorded in Birmingham Post 24(?) April 1888).

Tait`s denouncement of the fallacy of animal experiments led him into conflict with some of the leading vivisectors/surgeons of the time.

more to follow - on ovariotomies (surgical removal of ovaries)
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Old January 8th, 2015, 06:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Brown View Post
Stevi:
Briefly...
This is one of those bizarre coincidences that I experience on a regular basis..
Yesterday, for some reason I found myself on a page related to Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., the American Renaissance man.
Holmes was the first to advocate hand washing as a means of eradicating bacteria ( to defeat puerperal fever) in 1843...some 20 to 30 years before Lister and Tait.
True. Oliver Wendell Holmes published a pamphlet "The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever" in 1843. Holmes work attracted little attention until attacked by American obstretician, C L Meigs, who felt insulted that doctors and midwives were being blamed for the spread of infection (A J Youngson. The Scientific Revolution in Victorian Medicine. 1979).
In fact, Holmes had been preceeded by James Simpson (who we shall meet later when discussing anaesthetics) who, in 1840, taught his students that peurperal fever was spread from one patient to another by doctors and midwives and could be prevented by washing their hands (A J Youngson. The Scientific Revolution of Victorian Medicine. 1979).
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