Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/521

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TWITCHELL


463


TYLER


spot goes through the coats of the vessel, your son will bleed to death in a few moments." He dressed the wound and was unhitching his horse when the old lady frantically called, "it is bleed- ing." The doctor went in and found him deluged with blood. The dressings were removed and the blood jetted forcibly in a large stream for a distance of two or three feet. With his left thumb he compressed the artery; the patient had fainted: keeping his thumb on the vessel, he cut down with a scalpel more than an inch below where the external branch was given off. The mother separated the sides of the wound with her fingers and at length they succeeded in separating the artery from its attachments and the aged mother passed a string under the vessel and tied it while Dr. Twitchell con- trolled the hemorrhage and held the candle. The lad recovered.

Sir Astley Cooper's claim of priority has been generally acknowledged, but he did not tie the common carotid until June, 1808, eight months after Dr. Twitchell's case.

Cooper's was the first case published, but in 1817 was published a case that occurred October 17, 1803, when Mr. Fleming, of the British Navy, tied the vessel for a servant on ship board, who had attempted suicide. Twitchell's case was not published until 1838.

In 1810 Dr. Twitchell removed to Keene, New Hampshire, where he practised until he died.

He joined the New Hampshire Medical Society in 1811 and was its president, 1827-1830. Although always busy he found time to attend its meetings and was the idol of the society.

He was an indefatigable worker with such a practice so extensive that he had an arrangement of post-horses at country inns, so that he was enabled to travel at the rate of eight or ten miles an hour.

In 1838 he removed successfully the arm and clavicle for malignant disease.

In 1840 he had diagnosed and operated upon three cases of suppuration in the medullary canal. He frequently oper-


ated for stone in the bladder, did excisions of joints, and had performed several ovariotomies before McDowell's case was published.

Although offered professorships at Dartmouth, Vermont, and Brunswick Medical Colleges, he declined them all.

In 1816 he was elected an overseer of Dartmouth College, and in 1838 became honorary member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and was one of the founders of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Twitchell was an abstainer in regard to the use of alcohol and was a vegetarian for many years.

He married Miss EHzabeth Goodhue in June, 1815, but they had no children.

He died of heart disease May 26, 1850.

I. J. P.

Med. Communicat., Maaa., Med. Soc, 1850. N. Hamp., Jour. Med., Concord, 1850-1.

Tyler, John (1763-1841).

The son of Samuel and Susanna Tyler, whose people came from England and France about 1600; this ophthalmist was born in Prince George County, Maryland, June 29, 1763, and began to study med- icine under Dr. Smith, of Georgetown. He was a pupil at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, in 1784, where he received his diploma and studied also with John Hunter, Fordyce, Baillie and Pott. He began practice in Frederick City, Maryland, 1786, and was, according to Quinan, the first oculist in America, acquiring great reputation in ophthal- mology and being one of the first in the United States to operate for cat- aract. Patients came long distances, even from adjoining states to obtain the benefit of his skill in couching. It is recorded that he was an officer in the " Whiskey Insur- rection" in Pennsylvania, and his name figures as a co-founder of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty in Baltimore, and an elector of Pres. Jefferson. Being pos- sessed of a competency, he retired from practice as his hearing became dull from age and disease. He died unmarried in Frederick City, October 15, 1841. Dr.