Undertoad Wednesday Oct 2 12:49 PM
10/2/2002: Illustration of bloodletting devices
A UCLA Biomedial Library online exhibit shows this illustration of bloodletting devices from Stuttgart in the early 1600s.
I thought it was interesting for a couple of reasons. One, illus VI looks much like what I've seen of modern scalpels. Does today's knife take its design from 400-year-old pseudoscience, or is it just coincidence?
Two, look how they came up with all kinds of tools - and what detail they went into. Some thinking and care went into the development and documentation of these tools. Although medicine wasn't all that scientific, was it still based in some kind of logic?
Undertoad Wednesday Oct 2 12:55 PM
I forgot to note, the illustration was made at the time - it's not a modern illustration of ancient devices.
I keep thinking of other questions. Did bloodletting depend on the power of placebo to make people feel better? If so, would not its power be greater with the addition of faith? How did the church get along with medicine at the time?
lawman Wednesday Oct 2 01:07 PM
damn, glad I wasn't around back then... and had a headache (et al)...
"Bloodletting was accomplished by means of a variety of tools. Lancets (pictured above) are surgical knives used to incise veins for the greatest yield of liquid. Cuts generally measured about 1/5 of an inch in length.
Haller's kit included the brass spring lancet with wooden case (left photo). These tools were easy to use because they had spring-loaded blades that made consistent cuts, an improvement over hand-controlled lancets (in same photo, at lower right) whose cuts varied in length and depth depending on the skill of the physician. "
<img src="http://www.kshs.org/cool/graphics/coolmed1.jpg"><img src="http://www.kshs.org/cool/graphics/coolmed2.jpg"><br>
"Your suffering will be legendary!" - Pinhead
juju Wednesday Oct 2 03:40 PM
The Azteks believed that blood represented your life force. To them, it was like your soul, and of course the gods <i>need</i> your life force in order to sustain the world. When the Spanish first encountered the Azteks, the Aztek ruler had blood all over himself. They Spanish found it disguisting, but the Azteks saw it as completely normal. He had been constantly bloodletting himself, and he considered it his noble duty to give something back to the gods.
So, sometimes this wasn't done for science at all. Sometimes it was done for religion.
Nic Name Wednesday Oct 2 04:26 PM
Leeches used in bloodletting
perth Wednesday Oct 2 04:29 PM
Your reply here?
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