The Father Of Modern Abdominal Surgery
Dr. James Blundell, a London obstetrician, was often heralded as the father of modern abdominal surgery. On this date in 1828, he performed the first successful hysterectomy, an operation whose mortality rate during the previous century had approached 90 percent. Hysterectomies were performed more frequently starting in 1847, when the use of chloroform anesthesia became more commonplace. Still, because chloroform was toxic, these operations, whether done vaginally or through the abdomen, had to be completed within an hour. Blundell is also well known for his successes with human-to-human blood transfusion. A year after his first hysterectomy, he successfully transfused "a delicate woman 25 years of age" with eight ounces of human blood after she hemorrhaged after childbirth.
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