Patient Case Study: Orchard, Mary Ann

In-patient, 1859


Hospital Dorset County Hospital Patient type In-patient
Number 4710 Date admitted 4 Oct 1859
Name Orchard, Mary Renewed
Age 22 Under whose care Mr. Tapp
Occupation Labourer Disease Comp[ound] comm[inute]d fracture of arm
Parish Winfrith Discharged 27 Oct 1859
Recommended by Admitted as accident case Outcome Cured
Source Dorset History Centre, Dorset County Hospital in-patient admissions register 1847-59, NG/HH/DO(C)/5/2/1



  1. “THRESHING MACHINE ACCIDENT.–On Wednesday last as Mary Ann Orchard was assisting to feed a threshing machine at Winfrith, she fell over the drum, when her arm was drawn in and so severely injured that on being taken to the Dorset County Hospital it was found necessary to amputate the limb ; but she is now progressing as favourably as could be expected.” [Dorset County Chronicle, 13/10/1859, p. 4]
  1. Threshing Machine Accidents. I cannot forbear a remark on the frequency of injuries to women whilst engaged in their occupations on threshing machines, these injuries being of a very serious nature, involving loss of life in a very large majority of the cases. During my half-year’s connection with this hospital, I have seen two of the most frightful cases of smashed leg and arm that it is possible to conceive. … Three weeks ago was admitted a girl from Winfrith, with the right arm smashed to a pulp, from the fingers to about two inches above the elbow ; no means were here used to arrest the flow of blood with which her clothes were saturated; she is now making a good a recovery. In conclusion, Sir, I would make two observations:–First: That the practices of employing women on threshing machines should be discontinued, the nature of their habiliments rendering them much more liable to accidents than men. Second : That the poor sufferer’s co-operatives should immediately send for the nearest medical practitioner, whose timely assistance with the tourniquet would arrest the flow of blood, and save the lives of a considerable proportion of the cases. The neglect of this precaution is fatal, more than once persons conveyed hither having died on the road. DANIEL W. PHILLIPS. Dorset County Hospital, Oct. 18, 1859. (We feel obliged to the House Surgeon for his communication, which we feel sure will attract notice in the proper quarter, and be attended with desirable effect. It is almost incredible that sufferers should be conveyed from such distances without any attempt to stop haemorrhage.–ED. C.C.)” [Dorset County Chronicle, 20/10/1859, p. 14]
  1. “AMPUTATIONS OF THE UPPER EXTREMITY. … Case 7.–The Dorset County Hospital : Mr. Curme.–A girl, aged 19. The arm crushed in a thrashing-machine from the fingers to the middle of the upper arm. The girl was in a state of syncope on admission, having been driven nine miles without any application to stem the haemorrhage. On recovering from this condition the arm was amputated by the circular method in the upper third. Recovered well, and was discharged sixteen days after admission.” [Statistical report of the principle operations performed during 1859. Medical Times & Gazette, 1860, vol. 1, p. 447]