AJO History of Ophthalmology Series

The first major surgery done in Antarctica was an enucleation, performed during the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-09 commanded by Sir Ernest Shackleton. Aeneas Mackintosh was the second officer of the ship, the Nimrod . As the crew was unloading supplies, a lifting hook swung across the deck and struck his right eye. The expedition’s two surgeons, Eric Marshall and Alistair Mackay, examined him and found the lens on his cheek and a portion of the retina protruding from the laceration.

Marshall decided to remove the eye. The patient was placed on the floor of the captain’s cabin, on which the surgeons knelt. Mackay administered chloroform anesthesia with a towel. The only illumination was a single oil lamp. A retractor was improvised with a piece of rigging wire. The operation was uncomplicated and Mackintosh fully recovered.

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Jan 16, 2017 | Posted by in OPHTHALMOLOGY | Comments Off on AJO History of Ophthalmology Series

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