The history of medicine can be as strange as it is fascinating.
BBC journalist Thomas Morris knows that well.
In her book, The Explosive Toothbrush and Other Curiosities in the History of Medicine (Penguin, 2018), reveals seven of the most astonishing cases of medical analyzes.
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Here's how we'll show you:
1. The teeth that exploded
200 years ago, a cleric from Pennsylvania, the United States (identified only as "Reverend D.A.") began to suffer an intolerable tooth.
In his agony, he did everything he could to relieve pain: he traveled his garden like an angry animal, shook his head on the ground, and threw his face into the icy water.
All these attempts were unfortunately in vain.
The next morning, the cleric walked from side to side through his studio tower, holding his jaw when suddenly "a sharp sound, Just like a shot, he broke the tooth into pieces, which instantly relieved him. "
- A terrible and mysterious case of teeth that exploded with violence
The special blast of the priest's priest was the beginning Explosive teeth epidemic which would eventually be reported in the dental journal under the striking name: "Toothblast with sound message".
The toothache of a young woman apparently ended up magnificently when her tooth pain flared with such violence that she almost slid over her and deafened her for several weeks.
What could have caused these dramatic explosions? Experts have suggested numerous theories, from sudden temperature changes to the chemicals used in the first fillings.
None of these arguments, however, was particularly convincing, so the case of teeth that exploded not yet resolved to date.
2. The sailor takes the knives
In 1799 a 23-year-old American sailor named John Cummings, who spent the night with his companions in the French port of Le Havre, appeared.
The group saw the magician entertain a large audience pretending to swallow knives.
Later that night Cummings, who was already drunk, boasted I could swallow knives "as French"Encouraged by his friends, the dull sailor put his mouth in his mouth and swallowed it.
When the viewer asked him how many knives he could swallow at the same time, Cummings replied, "All knives aboard the ship!"before consuming three more.
It was an impressive performance, even though it was an idiocy. Although Cummings did not attempt to use more knives for six years, in 1805 he wanted to show off at a party and repeated his performance before a group of sailors.
But it was not long before Cummings began to suffer from the negative effects of his unorthodox "diet."
Striking abdominal pain He caused him to eat heavier and began to starve.
He finally died in 1809 after a long illness.
His doctors, who did not believe his story of eating knives, were initially confused until they had closed his body and were amazed that they had discovered Corroded remains of more than 30 knives inside your stomach and intestines, one of which even pierced his colon.
3. Treatment of pigeons
The nineteenth-century physicians used a wide range of strange means, but few of them were as strange as those recommended by German physician Karl Friedrich Canstatt.
A prominent specialist in pediatric illness has introduced the following recipe for the treatment of childhood seizures: "If it does not matter It keeps the pigeon up against the child's rectum during the attack, the animal dies early and the attack ends at the same rate. "
It was an idea eccentric and interestingly, Dr. Canstatt was not the only doctor who believed it to work.
When he was the director of the Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Dr. JF Weiss, called to treat a seriously ill child, one night in August 1850, had little success with conventional drugs.
Desperate, he asked his parents to get a pigeon. "After the bird was applied to the child's rectum," he noted in the medical journal, "he gasped several times, closed his eyes regularly, then his legs collapsed and finally vomited."
The boy was married, although the same thing about the pigeon can not be said: after his rejection of his meal, he died a few hours later.
When the "pigeons healing" report came to medical journals in London, they caused a lot of laughter,
But Weisse ignored the taunts and insisted on further investigations: "Experiments with other poultry are essential," he wrote, it seemed serious.
4. A soldier who removed his own bladder stone
Colonel Claude Martin was an eighteenth-century soldier who spent most of his life working for British East India.
Besides his successful military career, he worked as a cartographer, architect and manager. She became the richest European in India and also built (and flown) the first hot air balloon in the country.
But what is less well known about Martin is that he was the first person to do – and to undergo – a medical procedure that would later be known as litotripsy.
When have developed symptoms of bladder stonesIn 1782, Martin decided not to see a doctor because he realized that surgery to remove it would be extremely painful.
Instead, the brave Frenchman took things into his own hands.
Martin designed a special device made with a knitting needle and a large handle. Then He put this instrument into his own urethra and into his bladderand scratched bit by bit.
In addition, the Colonel repeated a horrible procedure up to 12 times a day for six months.
Surprisingly, it worked: until the end of this period his symptoms disappeared.
Fifty years later, something similar to Martin's technique became a standard method for the treatment of bladder stones thanks to pioneering research by surgeons in Paris who apparently did not know what the colonel had done.
Martin was not just the first step you make, later known as lithotripsy; it was also first patient when performing this operation.
5. The Miller's Story
On August 15, 1737, a young man named Samuel Wood worked on one of the windmills on a dog island in London.
Walking was looking for another sack of corn, but he did not realize that his rope was hanging.
Passing in front of one of the large wooden wheels, the rope was captured in one of the gears and before he knew what was going on, he flew through the air and dropped to the ground.
When he got up, Wood did not feel any pain except the slight armor in his right shoulder. And then he saw an unexpected object caught on the steering wheel: hand amputated
His arms!, he realized with horror.
An admirable calm was shown, he managed to go down the narrow staircase and then go to the nearest house and ask for help.
The loss of the limb is not a trivial matter: the damage to the wood was so drastic that the doctors who treated the young man were afraid of the fatal outcome. But they were surprised to see that it was a shoulder so pure that his patient's life was not in danger.
Wood recovered from an accident within a few weeks and he became a celebrity speciesLocal taverns even sold pictures of the man who survived when the windmill pulled out his arm.
In November 1737, three months after the accident, Samuel was presented before Royal Society as Live curiosity, with his amputated arm, now stored in alcohol, which was also presented for examination by assembled scientists.
6. The muscles in your stomach
In the summer of 1859, a 12-year-old girl from London, Sarah Ann, began to complain of nausea. His symptoms were not serious and his parents did not worry until one afternoon the big garden snail was vomiting, which was described as "lively and very active".
Sarah Ann then vomited seven other slugs, of varying sizes, but all alive and her parents have decided that it is probably time to seek medical help.
When asked if she had anything unusual, the girl told the doctor he liked to eat salads in the garden,
The doctor came to the conclusion that he unknowingly absorbed the family of young slugs who matured for several weeks in their stomach.
He also noted that Sarah Ann had only one hand, something that attributed to the fact that his mother was "terrified by the porcupine" during her pregnancy.
The history of slugs looked unlikely and some experts suggested that the girl should pretend: "Can a garden slug live in a human stomach?" he asked in a headline in a scientific journal Lancet.
JC Dalton, professor of physiology in New York, decided to find out. He made an exhausting series of experiments that involved moisturizing live slugs in gastric acid to find out what had happened.
All the creatures perished in a few minutes, and a few hours later they were completely enamored and a teacher he reasonably concluded that not; slugs can not live in the human stomach,
So, what happened to Sarah Ann? His illness seems to be more mental than physical.
But no matter what happened to her, it was certainly not a mollusc family that lived in her stomach.
7. Burning discomfort
Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is embarrassing and embarrassing, but is rarely dangerous.
In 1886, a man from Glasgow, whose name is unknown, who suffered a misfortune for about a month, has developed a disturbing new flag.
When he woke up in the middle of the night, he lit the match to look at his watch. When he tried to blow him up, his breath flared, causing a huge explosion.
His wife immediately woke up and found her husband sleeping like fire demonic dragon.
The doctor's doctor never heard anything like this, and at first nobody knew what this unusual phenomenon might be causing.
But another Scottish doctor, James McNaught, found a patient who was so vulnerable to burnt burns that he had to stop smoking because he was afraid of burning him.
When the tube passed inside the male stomach, Dr. McNaught was able to analyze the contents. He found that it was causing the blockage of the intestine the human stomach will be fermented, which produces a large amount of flammable methane.
Although potentially dangerous, it also served as a fun trick.
In the thirties, the patient tried to light a cigarette while playing the game bridge, but was suppressed a third time.
As a medical journal reported, "When he tried to do it discreetly in the company, he let his companions electrified by producing two flames that came out of his nostrils."
What could be more discrete than this?
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