Doctor Cooperman and Blood Poisoning

by Jack Keegan


Downneck many of the fences between properties were fabricated of wood. It was long before the affluent installed chain link barriers. Many of these obstacles were constructed with long wooden boards nailed horizontally at intervals to wooden posts. Thereby designating the boundaries of ones property.

It was great sport to grasp the top rail and vault over into your neighbors yard. In doing so one time, I happened to get a splinter in my left hand. Looking at it I remove what I thought was the entire small piece of wood. Being rather a hardy youngster it didn't seem to bother me that much.

Several days later I noticed a red line extending up my left arm. I brought this symptom to my Mother's attention, immediately I was rushed off to Doctor Cooperman's Office on Market Street next to the Third Precinct at Read Street.

The good Doctor took one look and concluded that it was blood poisoning. Cleansing my hand with alcohol he proceeded by taking a scalpel in hand and lanced my left palm, a putrid black and green pus exploded from that incision. In addition a small piece of wood emerged, the root cause of the infection. For several days I
was instructed to seep that extremity in a vial smelling liquid.

Slowly the red line in my arm receded as the sepsis element was removed. A happy ending indeed as this was long before the the advent of the Tetanus shot.

Thanks to the good Doctor he not only saved my arm but also my life. Another great deed thanks to the medical profession of those days.


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