Medical snippets #18: How he is to use his lancet

‘I now come to teach the young Chirurgion how he is to use his Lancet, and prepare himself for this Operation. First let him make a pretty strict bandage, a little above the elbow of that arm which he intends to bleed; not too strict, because he will very seldome hereupon but meet with obstruction in bleeding, the Artery being too close girt that it cannot discharge it self into the vein. And as to his Lancet, let him make his apertion a little sloping; or upon placing it a little obliquely, let him get his Lancet into the vein, and so lift it up, not penetrating too deep, lest he commit those errours which daily are acted by ignorant Pretenders and Quackes, who oft go so deep, as that they prick an Artery, and so cause Aneurisms and pains. Let the Orifice that you make, be neither too great or too small; the first endangering the Division of the vein, whilst the second runs it into a Tumour. Here also is he to judg of the goodness or badness of the Blood, and so according to his judgment may take away more or less; and also considering the necessity of the disease, the strength of the Patient, and the quantity and quality of the Blood.’

John Browne, A compleat treatise of preternatural tumours, both general and particular, as they appear in the humane body from head to foot. To which also are added many excellent and modern historical observations, concluding most chapters in the whole discourse (1678)

Balliol College Library shelfmark: 300 i 11 (1)