20 Scary Old School Surgical ToolsPosted: July 6, 2009
Artificial Leech (1800s)
Bloodletting with leeches was such a popular treatment for a range of medical conditions that an artificial leech was invented in 1840 and was used frequently in eye and ear surgery. The rotating blades would cut a wound in the patient’s skin, while the cylinder would be used to produce a vacuum that sucked up the blood.
Doctor : You have a fever.
Patient : Is that what’s causing the blurry vision?
Doctor : Mebbe. A little bloodletting should help.
Patient : I think I feel better now.
Doctor : No you don’t. You feel feverish. Bloodletting is good for fever.
Patient: No really, I feel fine!
Doctor : You can’t be feeling fine. You’re temperature is 102.
Patient : (shivering) No, really, it’s cool. I don’t like worms. I’ll be okay.
Doctor : Live leeches are so 1830’s. We have something better now.
Patient : You call that better? Can’t I just sit in a bathtub of ice? Really it’s no big deal.
Doctor : No, Ice will only mask the symptoms.
Patient : And that thing won’t create new symptoms?
Doctor : Do you have insurance? They’ll cover any new symptoms anyway.