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October 30, 1886


JAMA. 1886;VII(18):504. doi:10.1001/jama.1886.04250100140013

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To the Editor of the Journal: 

Dear Sir:  —Seeing that in these days priority is considered of so much importance, may I be allowed to point out, that though Dr. Martel, of St. Malo, as mentioned in your issue of August 14, (p. 176), may have been the first to conceive the idea of removing a portion of bone in order to facilitate cicatrisation in cases where there is extensive destruction of soft parts, he was not the first to perform or put on record such an operation. It was done in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, in May, 1885, by Mr. Joseph Bell, in the case of a patient, who, during a severe attack of phlegmonous erysipelas, lost the greater part of the skin of the inside of the right arm from the posterior fold of the axilla, down to within three inches of the wrist-joint. He was sent

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