William Stewart Halsted

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Halsted, William Stewart

(hôl`stĭd), 1852–1922, American surgeon, b. New York City, M.D. College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1877. He practiced in New York and in 1886 became the first professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, where he was associated with Sir William OslerOsler, Sir William
, 1849–1919, Canadian physician, M.D. McGill Univ., 1872. Renowned as a physician and as a medical historian, he was also the most brilliant and influential teacher of medicine in his day. He was professor at McGill (1875–84), the Univ.
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, W. H. WelchWelch, William Henry,
1850–1934, American pathologist, b. Norfolk, Conn., grad. Yale (B.A., 1870), M.D. College of Physicians and Surgeons (now part of Columbia Univ., 1875).
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, and H. A. Kelly in developing the medical school and hospital. His surgical contributions include an operative technique based on minimum injury of tissues, anesthesia by the injection of cocaine into the nerves, a method of operating for cancer of the breast and for hernia, experimental work on the thyroid, and the introduction of the use of rubber gloves.


See his Surgical Papers (2 vol., 1924); biographies by A. J. Beckhard and W. D. Crane (1960) and G. Imber (2011); H. Markel, An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine (2011).

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Halsted, William Stewart

(1852–1922) surgeon; born in New York City. For most of his career he was affiliated with Johns Hopkins Hospital (1889–1922), where he trained many surgeons. In 1881, he administered what is thought to be the first blood transfusion in the United States. He devised successful operative techniques for breast cancer and inguinal hernia and discovered the anesthetic use of cocaine (1884).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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(4) Just maybe the extraperitoneal approach should be considered and understood as a primary surgical technique for cesarean deliveries; just maybe it deserves a historical asterisk alongside the Halsted dicta.
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Before long, two brilliant young physicians--William Halsted in New York and Sigmund Freud in Vienna--began to self-experiment with cocaine as, respectively, a local anesthetic and a cure for anxiety and depression.
But an investigation was launched after the mother of the 17-year-old defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, complained that the chair of the bench nodded off and an application to this effect was made by defence solicitor Darren Halsted.
Certainly one of the early proponents of their use, and one who receives much acknowledgment of his contribution in this field was William Halsted, of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.
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