Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Incredible surgery.

With makeshift equipment and no training, a twenty-three year old pharmacist's mate manages a major operation aboard a submarine while under enemy attack in 1942. more..
~ Remus.

Yer Ol' Woodpile Report , 3/11/08.

H/t: Paul Scott.


RM said...

When I was a young lad in the early 1960s this story was included in a high school reading anthology belonging to one of my older siblings. I doubt any such tales are included in the currently assigned anthologies unless the tale involves a community organizer performing an at home radical Tranny-ectomy for an undocumented migrant denied health insurance by the white patriarchy.
I also remember reading years later that subsequent medical review called into doubt the necessity of the submarine surgery. However the possibility cannot be denied that the later analysis was just more leftist termite activity deconstructing our past.

Col. B. Bunny said...

That's a great comment and hilarious to boot. Thanks.

I see that the lad charged with various criminal offenses in connection with doxxing various Congressmen at one time had a job as a "poverty alleviator." IKYN. Sign of the times. Not someone I'd want as a shipmate.

Easy for the medical types to say after the fact and in complete safety with hot and cold running nurses immediately nearby to think that the guy with the excruciating abdominal pain should have sucked it up while the boat completed its mission at its leisure. Let me grind my cigarette out in your palm to show you my contempt for pain.

Reg T said...

A burst appendix, especially back in those days, was a death sentence, sometimes even if the patient is taken into surgery right away. Remember, penicillin was brand new and not available in any quantity. Sulfa drugs (as the story mentions) were the only antibiotic that _was_ available, IIRC.

One physical test for appendicitis is pressing down slowly with one hand atop the other over the area of the abdomen beneath which it resides. When you have depressed that area three inches or so (depending on the patient's size, of course), you release it quickly. If the patient experiences what was called (still is?) rebound "tenderness" (usually severe enough to cause the patient to levitate off of the table or gurney), it is quite likely that the appendix is inflamed. Even if the Seadragon was in safe waters away from enemy ships, the time it would have taken to get to a medical facility would likely have been fatal.

Per WebMD: An abscessed appendix can perforate or explode and cause peritonitis. For this reason, almost all cases of appendicitis are treated as emergencies, requiring surgery.

Col. B. Bunny said...

Thanks, Reg T. Pretty much what I have ever read about that affliction.

I think one of my distant ancestors dies of erysipelas. I've seen it a lot on early records of death. Seemingly slight infections could mean a death sentence in earlier times. WWII was pretty much a watershed time whereafter we could forget about infection as a threat in most cases.

Alas, I lost a good friend to MRSA after she fell asleep at the wheel and had a low-speed crash that required amputation of a lower leg. The wound became infected and the docs could never get on top of the MRSA. A portent of things to come. My g/f has been mainlining buckets of antibiotics to treat a different infection after minor surgery. So, a giant middle finger to the people who second guessed that pharmacists mate.