Posted by Outlander Anatomist | Fun Facts

image of a laceration being stituced up

Starz episode 311, Uncharted

Anatomy def: Lacerate means to gash, slash, tear, rip, rend, shred, scratch or score the skin (or other organs) – owie!

Outlander def: Claire’s mad dash-gash!  Rushing through the tropical forest to find Jamie, she snags her arm on a very large plant spike and, gah!  

Mr. Willoughby to the rescue wielding needle and thread, presumably designed to mend sails. That is one mighty big needle, Yi Tien Cho!  😳 Never-the-less, he carefully and tidily closes Claire’s laceration (n), stemming further blood loss. Nice work, Mr. W! Excellent special effects, too!

Learn about lacerations in Anatomy Lesson #35, Outlander Owies! – Part One. Used precisely, lacerate means to tear – the leaving somewhat ragged wound margins. Incision means to slice with a sharp edge (e.g. blade), which leave sharp edges to the wound. Closing an incision usually leaves a thinner scar.

Read about Claire’s dramatic arm gash in Voyager book! Understand, there is much more to Claire’s wound story than TV time allows. What caused Claire’s laceration? I urge you to read the book for all the nitty-gritty! Here, Herself grips our imaginations, yet again:

“Jamie!” I clutched at his shoulder, my vision going white at the edges. “You aren’t all right—look, you’re bleeding!” … “My God!” said his frightened voice, out of the whirling blackness. “It’s no my blood, Sassenach, it’s yours!”

… “What happened?” I asked.

“Ye’ve a bone-deep slash down your arm from oxter to elbow, and had I not got a cloth round it in time, ye’d be feeding the sharks this minute!”

It was a long, clean-edged slash, running at a slight angle across the front of my biceps, from the shoulder to an inch or so above the elbow joint. And while I couldn’t actually see the bone of my humerus, it was without doubt a very deep wound, gaping widely at the edges.

Jamie was holding one of my curved suture needles and a length of sterilized cat-gut, … It was Mr. Willoughby who intervened, quietly taking the needle from Jamie’s hands. “I can do this,” he said, in tones of authority.

A wee bit later after some yummy turtle soup laced with sherry <G>, TV Claire tells Jamie that the penicillin she later injects into her thigh would not have been useful on the Porpoise because, too many men and “that antibiotic wouldn’t work against typhoid.”

 Just so you ken, years ago, penicillin was used to successfully treat typhoid, although today, it is no longer used for this purpose, having been replaced with other antibiotics. Herself got it right in Voyager book! Yup, yet again!

I thought I had resigned myself to the realities of this time, but knowing—even as I held the twitching body of an eighteen-year-old seaman as his bowels dissolved in blood and water—that penicillin would have saved most of them, and I had none, was galling as an ulcer, eating at my soul.

The box of syringes and ampules had been left behind on the Artemis, in the pocket of my spare skirt. If I had had it, I could not have used it. If I had used it, I could have saved no more than one or two. But even knowing that, I raged at the futility of it all, clenching my teeth until my jaw ached as I went from man to man, armed with nothing but boiled milk and biscuit, and my two empty hands.

See the Chinese poet deftly close Clair’s gaping wound in Starz episode 311, Uncharted. A civilized and truly gifted man!

A deeply grateful,

Outlandish Anatomist

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