Back in the days before sanitary conditions and anesthesia were a thing, priorities in preforming surgery were valued a bit differently than they are today. One of the greatest priorities to improve patent survival was speed.
The longer a patient was on the table, the more blood they would lose, the more pain they would feel, the more likely there were to have some kind of infection, or die of shock. In other words – the quicker it happened - the better the chance the patient might live.
Surgery was an absolutely frightening prospect. And there were in fact a few issues with getting the patent to cooperate when their life was at stake.
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