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TIL in 1847 Robert Liston amputated a mans leg in under 2.5 minutes operaterating so quickly he amputated the fingers of his assistant as well. Both later died from gangrene and a spectator reportedly dropped dead from fright making it the only known operation with a 300% mortality rate.

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Henrietta Marchant Liston (Mrs. Robert Liston), 1800, by Stuart, Gilbert (painter, American, 1755-1828). National Gallery of Art. 1960.12.1

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Oscar winning actor Robert Montgomery (1904-1981), joined the U.S. Navy and served as Naval Attache on British destroyers hunting U-boats. He became a PT boat commander, and participated in the D-Day invasion on board a Destroyer. Montgomery served five years of active war duty, was awarded a Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Ribbon, the European Theater Ribbon with 2 Battle Stars, one Overseas Service Bar, and promoted to the rank of Lt. Commander.

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Portrait of Robert Liston (1794–1847), Scottish surgeon

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'Time Me, Gentlemen': The Fastest Surgeon of the 19th Century

Dr. Robert Liston (1794-1847) was a pioneering Scottish surgeon who was noted for his skill and speed in an era before anaesthetics, Only 1 in 10 of Listons patients died and he was once timed whislt performing a leg amputation, from the first incision to the final cutting of the suture threads it only took 2 1/2 minutes.

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Robert Liston, photograph circa 1845 by Hill & Adamson

GUEST POST: Mike Crump on Robert Liston and the Spectacle of Surgical Amputation

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