This Day in History — January 20

On January 20th, 1870, Benjamin Winslow Dudley, chair of anatomy and surgery at Transylvania University and an early practitioner of sterile surgery, passed away. Dudley, who had been educated in France, performed six trepanations for patients who suffered from post-traumatic epilepsy between the years of 1819 and 1832 in Kentucky. A trepanation involves opening the skull at the site of an injury, removing dead or damaged tissue, and draining blood or other fluids from the brain area. Dudley’s success with trepanation set the stage for other surgeons to use the procedure for patients who suffered post-traumatic seizures. 180px-benjamin_winslow_dudley

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