Skip to main contentU.S. National Library of MedicineU.S. National Library of Medicine

Profiles in Science
Pinterest badge Follow Profiles in Science on Pinterest!

The Henry Swan Papers

Letter from Henry Swan to his first wife, Mary Fletcher pdf (703,276 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Henry Swan to his first wife, Mary Fletcher
Intending to have them published, Swan's wife had his letters transcribed as he sent them.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (703,276 Bytes)
1945-04-09 (April 9, 1945)
[Swan, Henry]
[Swan, Mary Fletcher]
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
World War II
Exhibit Category:
Medical Training, Wartime Surgical Experiences, and Early Career, 1935-1949
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 51
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1944-1996
Folder: World War II. Letters at home, by Henry Swan II, 1944-1945
Apr. 9, 1945
Things have pursued the even tenor of their ways. We have been working a twelve hour shift, and have been relatively busy. With two anaesthetists, I can grind out quite a bit of work. Yesterday, for example, we did 25 operations, ranging from minor to major cases. Today we only did 12, but they were all more complicated and difficult. I did a successful suture-repair of a popliteal artery injury. These are very pleasing to accomplish, as it means saving a boy's leg for him. Arterial and vascular surgery in this war is perhaps one field where we have failed to do as well as we should. Too many limbs have been lost because we have not had the leadership and available supplies to successfully tackle these problems. For example, in the Gen. Hosps. heparin is not available. We have no tantalum tubes. I should hazard that we do little better now than in the last war, although we should have profited from their experiences, and the accumulated experience of the 30 year interim. Many surgeons I have seen have a pessimism and "shrug-the shoulders" attitude which, to me, is deplorable if we are to make progress. I think this problem could be solved if someone higher up began to carry the torch for us.
Tonite was an evening cool and clear. Red and I took a little tour on his motorbike as the sun set. He has it running nicely and it was fun, exhilarating fun, to speed along over the flat plains with the birch groves purple in the evening air. Motorcycling gives one the exciting freedom of the spirit not unlike skiing. Not equal to flying, though. When he gets the brakes fixed, it will be less unpredictable, but safer.
Metadata Last Modified Date:
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples