In 1780, two surgeons devised the chainsaw to facilitate the removal of pelvic bone during delivery, making it simpler and faster.
It was operated by a hand crank and resembled a modern-day kitchen knife, with small teeth on an oval-wrapped chain. The current chainsaws we’re used to seeing are mostly employed to cut down trees. The deadly tool’s beginnings, on the other hand, are nothing like what it is employed for now.
That’s a tremendous relief because the chainsaw was created for a very grim reason.
The first chainsaw was built in 1780 by two Scottish doctors, but why was this dangerous weapon conceived in the first place?
Everything you need to know is right here.
Why was the chainsaw invented?
Surprisingly, the chainsaw was created to help with childbirth – yep, you read it right.
All fetuses had to transit through the delivery canal before the caesarian section became a regular practice.
Babies can become trapped if they are too big or are in a breech position. Which means they are lying feet first in the womb instead of head first.
If a baby couldn’t fit thru or become caught in the pelvis in the 18th century. Pieces of bone and cartilage were excised to make room, a procedure called “symphysiotomy.”
Without anesthetic, this unpleasant and dirty surgery was performed by hand with a tiny knife and saw to remove the bone.
In the 18th century, two Scots surgeons devised the chainsaw to make the surgery simpler.
You’ll be relieved to learn that it wasn’t a contemporary tree-chopper in the horror movie sense. But rather a little kitchen knife with small teeth on a chain twisted by a hand crank.
The instrument did make the surgery easier and quicker, and it was utilized throughout the majority of the nineteenth century.
Who invented the chainsaw?
Doctors John Aitken and James Jeffrey devised the terrifying-looking infant delivery instrument in Scotland.
In the 1780s, two Scottish physicians are credited with developing the chainsaw.
John Aitken worked as a surgeon at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary, as well as giving medical lectures and demonstrations to university students.
He is credited with a number of practical advancements in surgery, including the invention of the chainsaw.
Dr. Jeffray, who studied at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities and was known for dissecting the remains of persons killed for murder, was Dr. Aitken’s co-inventor.
Jeffrey became Vice-Rector of Glasgow Institution in 1800 after holding the dual chairs of Anatomy and Botany at the university since 1790.
He is buried on the Glasgow Necropolis’ northern slope.
What was a symphysiotomy?
During symphysiotomies, the surgeons’ chainsaw was employed.
This was a technique used on pregnant women during childbirth instead of the more common caesarian section.
Slicing through the cartilage and ligaments of a pelvic joint to enlarge it and allow a baby to be delivered without hindrance is known as a symphysiotomy.
Infection, discomfort, bladder damage, and even long-term walking problems were all substantial hazards for women.
Since 1597, the surgery has been used to treat obstructed labor. Although it has become less prevalent in the late twentieth century, the danger of maternal mortality from a cesarean section has decreased due to advances in technology and sanitation.