Tuesday, June 28, 2011

For Jillian: Head Injuries early 1800's

I decided to do a special post just for Jillian. She's an awesome supporter of this blog and had an interesting question in the comments section that was going to be easier to answer here.

Her question:  Did they know if someone had a concussion during the time period I write, which is Regency England.

Jordyn says: Jillian, my best guess is that they understood head injury symptoms but probably not what the exact cause was. Boring a hole in the head to relieve pressure was a common medical practice (probably one of the oldest surgical procedures).

Here are a few resources that may help you:

1. The prevailing view in the 1800s was that headache and other sequelae of head injury were due to malingering or psychogenic or other functional disorders.  Source: http://www.medlink.com/medlinkcontent.asp

2. http://journals.lww.com/ajpmr/Fulltext/2010/08000/The_History_and_Evolution_of_Traumatic_Brain.13.aspx

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traumatic_brain_injury: Look under history section.

4. This was an earlier post on trepanning. http://www.jordynredwood.com/2010/11/truly-historical-medical-question-head.html

Jillian, thanks as always for your support. Hope you find some useful information.


  1. Hey Jordyn,
    Thanks so much for the information. You didn't need to go to all that trouble but I do appreciate it.I could get caught up in studying this stuff for a long time. I had no idea they were doing bore holes that far back in history. I'd have been scared to be the patient. The trepanning is fascinating as well.

  2. Jordyn, your blog is a great resource. Almost makes me want to write something medical just so I can use it!

  3. Jillian, hope it helped.

    Olivia, that is the best comment ever! Let me know if there's anything I could help with.