The understanding of human anatomy and physiology was necessary and medieval doctors were aware of this. In 1106, King Baldwin I of Jerusalem received a severe wound and his doctors wanted to dissect a dead prisoner to understand the damage of the Kings wound. He refused to give permission for the dissection; however, he did allow them to dissect a bear. The dissection gave them the information they needed to treat the king and he recovered.
The use of crossbows introduced new concerns in warfare. They were more accurate, and the quarrels or bolts penetrated deeper than conventional arrows did. The surgeons used forceps to remove the bolt. In his article, “Medieval Crossbow as Surgical Instrument”, Robert Burns examines the use of attaching a crossbow string to a forceps in an attempt to fire the crossbow and pull a particularly stubborn bolt out of a patient’s neck. The attempt failed, and the patient last hope was divine intervention. In Henri of Mondeville’s “Surgery”, he maintains the common practice of leaving a foreign object in the body is wrong. Removal of the object lessens the damage to surrounding tissue. The patient actually could die before the body rejects the object. His three rules for treating arrow wounds included: 1) choose or invent tools appropriate for the removal or treatment, 2) extract object quickly and meticulously, and 3) stop the loss of blood. Mondeville mentions the crossbow as an instrument in extracting bolts. This passage leads ...
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... and knowledge that decreased death and disability rates for military men. In contrast, there was not as much advancement in actual technology. There were no wonder drugs discovered and few life-saving devices invented. During the much of the Middle Ages, the medical and surgical establishments seemed to work and learn separately. Only later, did they benefit from combining their knowledge and experiments. This cooperation set the course for a furtherance of medical knowledge and technology for better treatment of returning warriors and society in the centuries to come. Medical men discovered new ways treatments that increased the chances of a positive prognosis. Militaries benefited from these new techniques because they decreased death and disability rates. Medieval medical advancements bridged the interval between the ancient scientists and modern medicine.
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