TO CORRESPONDENTS

1831 The Lancet  
of the 64th regiment, while doing duty in a country town, accidentally discharged a musket loaded with large shot " through his left hand ;" a large hole was made quite through the palm, the integuments were much lacerated, scorched, and thickly studded with grains of gunpowder. Many small vessels and nerves were divided, and several splinters shot from the metacarpal bones of the index and middle fingers. The treatment consisted in removing the loose fragments of bone, after which it was found
more » ... which it was found necessary to tie one or two bleeding vessels. The wound was carefully sponged with cold water ; the ragged edges pared, and brought together by sutures, end a few strips of adhesive plaster; the fingers were kept extended by a piece of moistened pasteboard, and the hand was covered with pledgets of line kept constantly wet with cold water. This treatment being continued for three weeks, the patient was able to leave his bed, and at the end of five weeks the injury was so well repaired, that a slight depression only was observable ; he was afterwards enabled to do duty in Dublin. It was remarkable that in this case, the prognosis of which must have been most unfavourable, the slightest constitutional disturbance never occurred ; the only medicine administered was an occasional purgative. Surely a less serious accident, under other treatment, has often caused the loss of a limb-aye, even of life.
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)99322-0 fatcat:cjcyqowlebbh7gessubuyixe34