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If there is a person that someone trusts, then that person is the doctor. People working in the medical profession get respect from others and for good reason too. In addition to the fact that school is one of the most difficult things that you can go through, medical practitioners save lives on a regular basis.

That is the reason why they are respected so much. Even when people did not know what they were doing, they did not dare to question physicians. In the 18th century, doctors did not really know what they were doing. They were incapable of determining what caused some illnesses and they continued to believe in the efficacy of practices that were not based on scientific methods. Anyone attempting to take a close look at the medical practices of the past would indeed be surprised. Why do we not do that right now? Let us discover together the peculiar medical practices of the 18th century.

Mercury – the medical remedy of the 18th century

When someone hears the word mercury, they automatically think about the chemical element bearing the symbol Hg. In the 18th century, many thought that mercury could save lives. To be more precise, it was strongly believed that metals had healing properties. It was precisely at that time that mercury gained the status of a metal. Prior to the introduction of antibiotics, mercury was utilized in the treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases. Regular people, on the other hand, had more interesting uses for mercury. In an attempt to ease the teething pain of their little ones, rubbed all kinds of powders into their infants’ gums. Instead of bringing the necessary ailment, mercury only made things worse. Mercury was used to a high extent, in liquid form or as a salt. At present, we would be appalled to hear that someone uses mercury as a therapy because it is poisonous. Nonetheless, people have all sorts of means of information.

Wound care treatment and management

In spite of the fact that there was not considerable knowledge with regard to the physiology of wound healing or the causes of infection, medical practitioners managed to successfully treat difficult injuries. Nowadays, lesions such as lacerations or epidermal tears are treated and managed with the help of adhesive products. Medical tapes are gentler to the skin but, sometimes, it is necessary to have various sizes. This is where medical tape converters come into play. Getting back on topic, the treatment and management of wounds is the oldest surgical issue. This is due to the fact that people have always been susceptible to accidental bruises and cuts. Injuries would be treated by applying butterfly bandage, which was manufactured from sticking plaster and bandage. The covering helped keep everything in place and enable the wound to heal.

It is important to draw attention to the fact that the 18th century is a transitional period when it comes to the evolution of surgery and the post-trauma repairing process. Medical professionals of the time were against the dogma and speculation that had been dominated medicine for centuries. One person, in particular, questioned the usual methods of treatment that had been in use for a very long time. His name was John Hunter. This British surgeon was of the opinion that bandaging a wound with roller tape was not enough. So, he argued in favor of bringing together the edges of the wound. What is more, the specialist was against using the interrupted suture. It is interesting to note that John Hunter never ever completed a course of studies in any university and never tried to become a doctor in medicine. Nevertheless, this was not unusual in the 18th century. He served as an army surgeon, being intelligent and well informed. It is a good thing that he supported careful observation and scientific method in medicine.

Lack of anesthesia and antiseptics 

In the 18th century, there was no such thing as anesthesia. If it were not for the tenacity and determination of Dr. Morton, we still would not have anesthetic drugs. Thomas Green Morton was a dentist by profession. He utilized an inhalator device so as to achieve dental extractions. After discovering the possibility of performing surgery in the absence of pain, the medical professional immediately applied for an authorization to be able to use the device on a bigger scale. The first public demonstration of the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anesthetic took place in 1846. The discovery of anesthesia is just as impressive as the introduction of 3M UK tape converters.

It is only normal to want to know what doctors did in a time before anesthesia. Let us find out, shall we? Surgery was a frightening spectacle. To be more precise, it was undertaken solely in extreme circumstances and patients were under a great deal of pain. All medical procedures, regardless of the severity, were performed without anesthesia. This basically means that individuals were wide-awake and in agony. Physicians had access to painkillers. However, the surgical procedures were still unbearable. In order to alleviate human suffering, doctors made considerable efforts to finish the operation faster. Therefore, they did everything possible to enhance their performance. Thankfully, later on, life-saving surgery could be performed with the use of anesthesia.

The best time for surgery

It is common knowledge that there is no best time of the day to schedule a surgery. The surgeon may not feel fresh at the beginning of the day or they may have more anxiety in the evening. There are no best and worst times for surgery. Or are there? In the 18th century, medical procedures were performed only during specific times of the year. In the spring, the blood is revived thanks to the great heat, so it makes a good option. In the autumn, survival chances were higher. Today, things are different in the sense that doctors do not take into account the seasons when scheduling surgeries. They think about the patient’s condition and their readiness. And other important things.