Of penetrating wounds of the thorax, those involving the heart are relatively infrequent. During the past four years, there have been thirty-five cases of gunshot wounds and sixty-one of stab wounds of the chest at the Louisville City Hospital. Only one bullet and one knife encountered the heart; some of the other wounds were very near, striking the pericardium, but none of the patients gave symptoms to warrant operative intervention.
Early history contains records of many cases of injuries to the heart, and in each instance the patient died. Aristotle and Galen believed that heart wounds were always fatal. Hollerius1 (1498-1562) was the first to oppose this idea; he thought that small wounds which did not bleed excessively could heal. The first authentic record of a healed wound of the heart was by Iodinis Wolf2 in 1642. He found a scar in the heart of a deer, and
COX DM. WOUNDS OF THE HEART: REPORT OF TWO CASES. Arch Surg. 1928;17(3):484–492. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1928.01140090131009
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: