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Case History

In 1993, Richard U. Light (1902-1994) donated a bound set of papers relating to the case history of one of Harvey Cushing's last patients on whom he operated only 10 days before his retirement from surgery. The 43 year old woman was diagnosed with a left temporal glioma in July 1932. Dr. Light's donation cover letter reads -

"February 15, 1993

Here is another item for the Archives, a case history of one of Cushing's brain tumor patients. It shows his method of training voluntary graduate assistants for they were allowed to examine the patient, write a complete history and follow-up notes, and watch the operation from the stand. About half of the men he trained did it this way staying anywhere from two or three months to a full year. Except for the heavy responsibilities which residents carried, and the fact that they did not scrub for the operation, they got almost as much out of it as did the residents because Cushing never allowed residents to do any surgery other than ventriculograms, and their view of the operation was scarcely better than that of the person in the stand."

Many of the notes you will find in this record are names one familiar with the history of neurosurgery will find familiar: Dr. (Harvey) Cushing, Dr. (Gilbert) Horrax, Dr. (Bronson) Ray, Dr. (Merill) Sosman, Dr. (Elliott) Cutler, Dr. (Richard) Light, and many more. Most of what is presented here is the patient's care during her hospitalization under Dr. Cushing's service. To provide a more complete overview of the care provided to the patient, summaries of her subsquent admissions are included. The patient died on March 30, 1933, so the post mortem and final pathology reports are also included.

In an effort to provide you an opportunity to savor a 1932 medical record, the pages were scanned directly from the bound material and are accessible using the icons on the text pages.

1. Dr. Light's description of the case.

2. Excerpt from Dr. Light's "Remembering Harvey Cushing: The Closing Years". Surgical Neurology, 1992, 37:pg 150.

3. Outpatient Record, July 30, 1932 to January 11, 1933

3a. X-Ray Report by Dr. Sosman, July 30, 1932

4. General History by Dr. Shambaugh, August 2, 1932

5. Neurological History by Dr. Light, August 2, 1932

6. Neurological History by Dr. Ray, August 5, 1932

7. Neurological Note by Dr. Pattison, August 9, 1932

8. Ventriculogram Notes by Drs. Ray and Sosman, August 10, 1932

8a. Ventriculogram Report by Dr. Sosman, August 10, 1932

9. Operative Note by Dr. Cushing, August 10, 1932

10. Anesthesia Chart, August 10, 1932

11. Post-Operative Notes, August 11, 1932 - August 29, 1932

11a. Discharge Summary, August 31, 1932

11b. Outpatient Visit, October 5, 1932

11c. Readmission Summary, October 5 to October 24, 1932

11d. Surgical Follow-Up Visit, December 14, 1932

12. X-Ray Treatment Sheet, August 18, 1932 through February 17, 1933

12a. Surgical Follow-up Visit, January 11, 1933

12b. Readmission Summary, January 13 to February 17, 1933

12c. Pathology Report, January 24, 1933

12d. X-Ray Treatments, February 14 to February 17, 1933

13. Autopsy report, March 31, 1933

14. Microscopical Examination, March 31, 1933

15. Photographs of the brain, June 6, 1933

Current Exhibit

"A Seaplane Cruise Around the World",
excerpts from
Richard U. Light's
1934-1935 Journal

Past Exhibits

Case History of One
of Harvey Cushing's
Last Patients
by Richard U. Light

Photo Journal of Harvey Cushing by Richard U. Light

Harvey Cushing Secondary Bibliography

AANS Archives Donors

Planned 2000 Exhibits

"Pain Management and Irving Cooper",
an exhibit developing in cooperation with the Joint Section
on Pain

Pre-20th Century · Aneurysm and Micro-Neurosurgery · History of Organized Neurosurgery
Stereotactic Neurosurgery · The Cushing Tumor Registry · Portrait Hall · Leaders in Neuroscience
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