Monday, May 21, 2012


Your intrepid reporter is currently at an intensive pre-examination revision course, learning all about saving the lives of mother's and babies.  Which is by way of an excuse as to why there will be no detailed post this month.

Instead from the collection of the US National Library of Medicine we have the following image.  A woodcut entitled La commare o riccoglitrice dell'eccmo. sr. Scipion Mercurii, and dating back to 1601 it depicts a woman being restrained by two other man as another surgically extracts a foetus from her abdomen.

One of the earliest known images of caeserean section.

Caeserean section as we know it today was not how the procedure was performed prior to mid this century. Generally it was only performed post-mortem, as in after the mother was already dead, which meant the success rate of also delivering a live baby was quite slim.

Thankfully on my revision course I am learning that we have come a long way....
Contrary to popular belief, by the way, it seems likely that Julius Caesar was not born this way, as his mother survived his birth - but we'll save his story for another day.   


  1. Huzzah for advances in modern medicine!

    I hope the course is going well. Will you ever get to a point where you don't need to take any more exams?


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