Letter from Pioneer Neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing: “It is lucky that he got off with his compound fracture of the fibula as well as he did”

Signed by Harvey Cushing

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CUSHING, HARVEY. (1869-1939). Pioneering neurosurgeon and biographer of William Osler. TLS. (“Harvey Cushing”). 1p. 4to. Boston, August 20, 1924. On his professional Peter Bent Brigham hospital letterhead. To Alice M. Tomlin.

Harvey Cushing

 

Thanks for your note about Stanley Bogert. What an extraordinary story it has been! You are much to be congratulated. I would not have believed for a moment that he was likely to make such a fairly complete recovery. I have just gotten back from abroad and am beginning to pick up my threads again. Please tell Mr. Bogert that I have received his letter asking for some X-ray plates. Will you find out, please, just what he wishes? It is lucky that he got off with his compound fracture of the fibula as well as he did. It seemed to me best while he was here to leave it pretty much alone as long as it was giving no special symptoms…”

A pioneer in neurosurgery, Cushing’s most notable achievement was reducing the mortality rate of patients who underwent the surgical removal of brain tumors from approximately 90 percent to 8 percent. Among his many innovations are the Cushing clip, which controls hemorrhaging during surgery, the use of suction and X-rays in surgery, monitoring blood pressure, and the development of a safer method of administering anesthesia. His original research in brain surgery led to the establishment of the Hunterian Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University and Harvard’s Laboratory of Surgical Research. Cushing trained scores of surgeons as a professor of surgery at both Harvard and at Yale, where he taught from 1933 until his death. A serious bibliophile, Cushing’s collection forms the nucleus of Yale’s rare books on medical history. In 1932 the Harvey Cushing Society was formed, an organization that still exists under the name of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Our letter is written from Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, where, as surgeon-in-chief, Cushing performed more than 2000 brain tumor operations.

Our letter is addressed to the recipient care of Mrs. E.C. Bogert, possibly the wife of an officer of the American Microscopal Society whose members were biologists seeking to promote use of the microscope. Normal letter folds and in fine condition.

Letter from Pioneer Neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing: “It is lucky that he got off with his compound fracture of the fibula as well as he did”

Signed by Harvey Cushing


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