Title: O'Keafe, James B.

Source text: Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes, United States Army, The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion. (1861–65.), Part 1, Volume 2 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1870), 274.

Keywords:wounds and injuries of the headtrephining after gunshot fractures of the skullgeneral anesthesia, etherinflammation of the brain and its membranes

Civil War Washington ID: med.d1e16864

TEI/XML: med.d1e16864.xml

CASE.—Corporal James B. O'Keafe, Co. C, 68th Pennsylvania Volunteers, aged 36 years, was wounded at the battle of Mine Run, Virginia, November 27th, 1863, by a conoidal ball, which fractured and depressed the left side of the os frontis above the outer portion of the superciliary ridge. He was conveyed to Alexandria, Virginia, and admitted into the 3d division hospital, December 5th. Two days later he complained of intense pain in the head; his skin was hot and dry, the pulse frequent, and his bowels were constipated. The skull was trephined by Surgeon Edwin Bentley, U. S. V., and spiculæ of bone were removed while the patient was under the influence of ether. Simple dressings were applied to the wound, cathartics administered, and low diet ordered. Extensive suppuration supervened, and death followed on the 13th, from inflammation of the brain and its membranes. At the autopsy, the membranes of the brain were found infiltrated with pus. Coagulable lymph and serum existed in the cavity of the arachnoid, and the brain was softened and congested. Acting Assistant Surgeon W. G. Elliott reports the case.