Sunday, 29 April 2012

Of Great and Painful Times

I've just spent a great weekend in London. As always I packed it all in - everything from St Paul's and the ballet to opera and Kensington Palace not to mention a visit to Battersea Dogs' Home. The highlight for me however, was a little gem of a museum that seems hardly known to anyone. It's called The Old Operating Theatre at London Bridge. It was here until 1846 that surgeons operated without anaethestics to perform all sorts of operations often in front of a packed house of medical students.
Surgeons apparently washed their hands more often after surgery than before and began operations in overalls caked in blood from previous outings . Not only does the museum feature the operations theatre as it was way back then but also countless artefacts from those days of medi-horror. Included in the display cabinets is an array of saws and knifes as well as a surgeon's walking stick. This still bears the teeth marks of patients who were given nothing more than the stick to bite on to help get them through a legal amputation.

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