Patient Case Study: Harris, Eliza

In-patient, 1859


Hospital Dorset County Hospital Patient type In-patient
Number 4694 Date admitted 15 Sep 1859
Name Harris, Eliza Renewed 13 Nov by Wimborne Union
Age 20 Under whose care Mr. Curme
Occupation Disch[arge]d serv[an]t Disease Malig[nant] dis[ease] of tibia
Parish Wimborne Discharged 8 Dec 1859
Recommended by Wimborne Union Outcome Cured
Source Dorset History Centre, Dorset County Hospital in-patient admissions register 1847-59, NG/HH/DO(C)/5/2/1



  1. “AMPUTATION OF THE THIGH. … Case 5.–The Dorset County Hospital : Mr. Curme.–A woman, aged 20, was admitted September 15, 1859, with a swelling below the left knee, which proved to be cancerous, and infiltrated the head of the tibia. It was of three months’ duration. The swelling was very puffy, and seemed to consist of blood and gelatinous matter. The knee was bent at a right angle. The swelling increased rapidly, and she was apparently sinking. Amputation in the middle third of the thigh. The muscles were found very flabby and infiltrated. The circular operation was performed, as the parts about the knee were infiltrated with the cancerous matter. On examination of the knee-joint after amputation, it was free from disease, as anticipated ; but immediately below the joint was a cavity with ten ounces of sanguineo-purulent fluid. The head of the tibia was the seat of malignant deposit, and three times its natural size. Her health speedily improved, and she was discharged cured on December 8.” [Statistical report of the principle operations performed during 1859. Medical Times & Gazette, 1860, vol. 1, p. 420]