Tolstoy’s Report of Five Cases of Chest Trauma: Its Relevance to Contemporary Military Surgical Experience
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Fragments of the history of trauma care, an important part of our surgical heritage, can offer a relevant message to contemporary science, even at the level of statistical evaluations. A surprisingly good match of results using two distinctively different approaches for calculating survival after a chest injury is reported in a historical model. Statistical data published by French and British surgeons serving in the Crimean War (1853–1856) were found to conform with the analysis of literary observations in Leo Tolstoy’s Sebastopol Sketches. The nearly complete agreement on survival probabilities from two sources so different in their nature highlights the question of the relevance of nonstatistical methods in other fields of surgery as well.
KeywordsChest Trauma Thoracic Trauma Chest Injury Russian Side Russian Soldier
Special thanks are due to Chloe Campbell (Penguin, London, UK), Dr. Howard Rickenberg (Marseille, France), and Mr. Anthony J. Morgan (Bristol, UK) without whose generous help and contribution this article would never have been written.
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