contact us    |    accessibility    |

Key Object Page

<< back to key collections page

<< back to this object's collection page

Amputation Knives

These knives are amputation knives used by Robert Liston. In a an era when anaesthetics were not commonplace, Liston was known for his surgical skill and speed A very famous story told about Liston was regarding an amputation he had carried out on a leg in under 21⁄2 minutes. Not only did the patient die afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene, he also amputated the fingers of his young assistant who also died from gangrene. Furthermore, Liston slashed through the coat tails of a surgical spectator, who dropped dead from fright. This was the only operation in history with an alleged 300 percent mortality.

Amputation Knives
Subscribe to the Surgeons' Hall Museums News Feed