One of life’s most significant issues has recently been raised by social media users: why was the chainsaw invented? The response, which has Scottish medical roots, is not what you may anticipate. The chainsaws we are accustomed to today are typically used to cut trees. The deadly tool’s origins, however, are unrelated to its current use. Actually, it’s a big relief because the chainsaw was created for a very gruesome purpose.
Before the widespread use of caesarean sections, each fetus had to pass through the birth canal. Babies who are excessively large or who are in a breech position, which is when they lie feet-first in the womb instead of the usual head-first position, will inevitably become trapped. In the 18th century, sections of bone and cartilage were removed to make a space known medically as a symphysiotomy if a baby did not fit or was trapped in the pelvis.
Without using any type of anaesthesia, the painful and dirty process was carried out by hand with a small saw and a knife to cut through the bone. You’ll be relieved to learn that it wasn’t like a contemporary horror movie set in a thrift store, but more like a manual chain with a small kitchen knife for a blade.
Most of the 19th century saw continued use of this tool, which actually made the technique simpler and faster.
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John Aitken and James Jeffrey, two Scottish doctors, actually developed the terrifying-looking delivery tool. The chainsaw was created in the 1780s by these two Scottish doctors. John Aitken trained as a surgeon at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and also taught and demonstrated medicine to college students. He is credited with a number of useful advancements in surgery, including the development of the chainsaw.
Although thankfully far from the electric behemoths people use to cut down trees today, the first chainsaw was actually created to be used during childbirth. Two Scottish physicians created a prototype for the symphysiotomy procedure in the late 18th century. The operating room quickly used the chainsaw for more bone-cutting and amputation procedures. When people realized how quickly and effortlessly it could cut through, well, anything, it eventually became a woodworking tool. Over time, it became the monster we are familiar with as it got bigger and stronger.
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Even if it had been improved since the 18th century, the medical chainsaw was still used in childbirth in the West until the end of the 19th century. Although the Gigli saw (seen above) predates the use of early medical chainsaws, it is believed that it is still occasionally used in some regions of the world when a caesarean section is not possible. However, the initial intention of Gigli’s chainsaw and saw was to help women who had difficulty giving birth, not to amputate dead limbs or flesh and bone.
German orthopaedist Bernhard Heine created the first chainsaw in 1830. The Greek words osteo (bone) and tome or Tomi (cut), which translates to the bone cutter, are called osteotome. Like many others, this chainsaw was used in the medical field.
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In conclusion, symphysiotomies are no longer practised, but can still be performed in impoverished countries without access to operating theatres for caesarean sections. However, they are no longer performed in the United States. So, there you have it: the surprising and terrifying past of the chainsaw. Who knew that the most terrifying instruments of power were designed for your most delicate part? CertifiedPedia