Medicine: Freezing for Amputation

Local "freezing" instead of general anesthesia has cut the death rate in the amputation of gangrenous limbs from 83% to 18%, Drs. Frederick Madison Allen and Lyman W. Crossman of New York City's Welfare Hospital reported last week. The three-stage operation: 1) the limb's blood supply is cut off by a tourniquet; 2) it is anesthetized by cooling to just above freezing with a refrigerating coil; 3) it is amputated. The low temperature reduces post operative infection.


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