Sunday, May 27, 2012
Bill O'Reilly is an idiot. That shouldn't surprise too many people. He was on TV a while back promoting his book, Killing Lincoln. I haven't read the book and have no plans to. My gripe is not about the book, it's about something he said. He told people that all of the amputations during the Civil War were without anaesthesia. That's nonsense. It's a common misconception. Both ether and chloroform were readily available and widely used during the Civil War. It wasn't a good time to be sick or wounded, without question. Infection and disease were rampant and surgeons were often overwhelmed. There weren't nearly enough of them. But lack of anaesthesia was not a major issue.