A Letter on Suspended Animation containing experiments shewing that it may be safely employed during operations on animals
The Project Gutenberg eBook, A Letter on Suspended Animation, by HenryHickmanThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org. If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: A Letter on Suspended Animation containing experiments shewing that it may be safely employed during operations on animalsAuthor: Henry HickmanRelease Date: October 10, 2018 [eBook #58071]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A LETTER ON SUSPENDED ANIMATION***
Transcribed from the 1824 Office of W. Smith edition by DavidPrice, email [email protected]
Shewing that it may be safelyemployed during
OPERATIONS ON ANIMALS,
With theView of ascertaining
ITS PROBABLEUTILITY IN SURGICAL OPERATIONS ON THE
T. A. KNIGHT, ESQ. OF DOWNTONCASTLE,
ONE OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE ROYALSOCIETY.
BY DR. H.HICKMAN,
Member of the Royal MedicalSocieties of Edinburgh, and of
the Royal College of Surgeons, London.
IRONBRIDGE: Printed at the Officeof W. Smith.
At the particular request ofgentlemen of the first rate talent, and who rank high in thescientific world, it is, that the author of the following letteris induced to lay it before the public generally, but moreparticularly his medical brethren; in the hope that some one orother, may be more fortunate in reducing the object of it beyonda possibility of doubt. It may be said, and with truth,that publications are too frequently the vehicles ofself-adulation, and p.4as such, suffer greatly from the lash of severecriticism; but the author begs to assure his readers, that hisviews are totally different, merely considering it a dutyincumbent on him, (as a medical practitioner, and servant to thepublic), to make known any thing which has not been tried, andwhich ultimately may add something towards the relief of humansuffering, arising from acute disease. The only method ofobtaining this end, is, in the author’s opinion, candiddiscussion, and liberality of sentiment, which, too commonly is adeficient ingredient in the welfare of so important a profession,productive of serious consequences, not only to the partiesthemselves, but to the patient whose life is entrusted to theircare. The duty and object, however, of the Physician andSurgeon, is generally considered to be the relief of afellow-creature, by applying certain remedies to the cure ofinternal affections, or cutting some portion of the body, wherebyparts are severed from each other altogether, or relievingcavities of the aggravating cause of disease. There is notan individual, he believes,
The facility of suspendinganimation, by carbonic acid gas, and other means, withoutpermanent injury to the subject, having been long known, itappears to me rather singular that no experiments have hithertobeen made with the object of ascertaining whether operationscould be successfully performed upon animals whilst in a torpidstate; and whether wounds inflicted upon them in such a statewould be found to heal with greater or less facility than similarwounds inflicted on the same animals
Experiment 1st. Dogs of abouta month old were placed under a glass cover, surrounded by water,so as to prevent the ingress of atmospheric air, where theirrespiration in a short time ceased, and a part of one ear of eachwas then taken off; there was no hemorrhage, and the wounds werehealed at the end of the third day, without any inflammationhaving taken place, or the Animals having apparently suffered anypain or inconvenience from the operation.
Experiment 2d. After the sameanimals had fully recovered their powers of feeling, a similarpart of the other ear of each was taken off; a good deal of bloodnow flowed from the wounds, and some degree of inflammationfollowed, and the wounds did not heal till the fifth day.
Experiment 3d. An experimentwas made similar to No. 1, in every respect, except that thesuspension of animation was
Experiment 4th. Mice, havingbeen confined in a glass tube of a foot long, were renderedinsensible by carbonic acid gas slowly introduced in smallquantities, and one foot from each was taken off; no hemorrhagetook place upon the return of sensation, and the wounds appearedquite healed on the third day, without the animals havingapparently suffered pain, when they were given their liberty.
Experiment 5th. An adult dogwas rendered insensible by means similar to the preceding, andthe muscles and blood-vessels of one of its legs weredivided. There was no hemorrhage from the smaller vessels;a ligature which secured the main artery came away on the fourthday, and the animal p.11recovered without having at any period shewn anymaterial symptom of uneasiness. In this experimentanimation was suspended during seventeen minutes, allowingrespiration occasionally to intervene by means of inflatinginstruments.
Experiment 6th. A dog wasrendered insensible by the means employed in experiment first,and an incision was made through the muscles of the loin, throughwhich a ligature was passed, and made tight; no appearancewhatever of suffering occurred upon the return of animation, nortill the following day, when inflammation came on with subsequentsuppuration. The ligature came away on the seventh day, andon the twelfth the wound was healed.
As the recital of such experiments as those preceding must beas little agreeable to you, as the repetition of them has been tomyself, I shall not give a detail of any others, but shall onlystate the opinions which the aggregate results have led me toentertain. I feel perfectly satisfied that any
I remain, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
H. H. HICKMAN.
Shifnal, Aug. 14th, 1824.
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