(ORDO NEWS) — Known as the fastest surgeon of his time, Robert Liston (1794-1847) once amputated a patient’s leg so carelessly that he not only killed his patient, but also two bystanders. He could amputate a leg in less than 30 seconds.
Before the advent of anesthesia, speed was the key to survival and patient relief. But Liston was so focused on his speed during the amputation that he accidentally cut off his assistant’s fingers along with the patient’s leg.
And when he again waved the knife, he accidentally touched the fingers of the viewer, who lost consciousness on the spot.
It was later revealed that the spectator died of shock, and the patient and assistant died shortly thereafter after an infection had entered their wounds. These three deaths made Liston’s operation the only one in history with a 300 percent mortality rate.
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