British Surgeon Robert Liston Performed a Surgery With a 300% Mortality Rate

Robert Liston was a reputable British surgeon from the 19th century who was renowned for his ability to perform fast procedures. His speed often made a difference between life and death while also minimizing the pain time for his patients in a time when anesthetics were virtually non-existent. Unfortunately, Liston will be forever remembered by history as the only surgeon to perform a surgery with a 300% mortality rate.

The 1983 book Great Medical Disasters by Richard Gordon describes one case where Liston was called to perform a procedure on a man who needed amputation. According to Gordon, the British surgeon finished the surgery in just 2.5 minutes, but it resulted in the deaths of three people.

While performing the surgery, Liston accidentally cut off the fingers of his assistant, who contracted gangrene and died as a result. Additionally, he also lacerated the coat of a man who watched the surgery, and the spectator was so shocked that he fainted. It was later discovered that the man died from shock.

Finally, the patient who was a subject of the surgery also contracted gangrene after the procedure and died as well.

It is important to note that the story is widely accepted to be true, but there are no historical records confirming that the event ever happened.

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