September 3rd, 2010


Ear Loss - Effects And Treatment

Okay, I've tried searching for this, but regardless of where I searched I just keep finding things that deal with hearing loss or ears being amputated surgically, which was not what I was looking for.

Anyway, my questions are about the effects and treatment of someone cutting off another person's ear. Questions:

1. How difficult would it be to cut off someone's ear with, say, a sharpened screwdriver? How much resistance would there be?
2. How much would it bleed? A lot, a little? And would the victim be in a lot of pain? I assume they would.
3. What action would be taken immediately afterwards, before the victim could be taken to a hospital?
4. What would happen at the hospital?
5. I don't know if ears can be reattached, but assuming it can't, what effects would this have on the victim?

Any help with this would be awesome.
Kenaz: Stone

Resource: Historical US and UK currency calculations

A colleague at work has steered me to a site which will perform historical currency conversion which will help you measure the relative value of a US dollar amount from the 18th century to the 20th.  It also contains a lot of additional data sets which might be very useful for writers trying to figure out how much their character might earn in 1799, or what their character could buy for $50 in 1926, or how many UK Pounds would equal $100 in 1850.  There's a wealth of information here for people who need information about currency and its value over the last few centuries.
badass dave

Brain tumor diagnosis pre-1973

I've got a character who gets a malignant brain tumor and deals with it over 1971-2. What would the doctors have used to first diagnose it and then keep an eye on it? CAT scans weren't available until 1973-4 and the MRI wasn't around yet either.

The character is a young woman, about 23, living in regular American society in that time period (specifically, Boston, Mass). What was the usual path doctors would take to diagnose her with a brain tumor and then pin down exactly what type of tumor it is? I thought they would be able to remove the tumor with surgery and then put her on radiation and chemo, while keeping an eye on her brain to see if any new tumors grow in. (She's pronounced in remission in late 1972.) But how was this done before CAT scans and MRI?

(My research showed that CAT scans and the MRI were invented around this time, but weren't in wide usage until after the time period my character is dealing with. And yes, I know it may be a stretch to use the "medicine: premodern" tag for 1972, but every dang article I came across only talked about from CAT scans on as if no one ever got brain cancer before then.)

Search terms: "cat scan invented," "mri invented," "brain tumor diagnosis history," "brain tumor diagnosis before 1973"