Title: Fitzpatrick, Owen

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), 289-290.

Keywords:wounds and injuries of the headtrephining after gunshot fractures of the skullphysical disability, discharged from servicegeneral anesthesia, chloroformgeneral anesthesia, etherdisability total and permanentfits of an epileptiform characterloss or impairment of visionvertigoheadache

Civil War Washington ID: med.d1e17052

TEI/XML: med.d1e17052.xml

CASE.—Private Owen Fitzpatrick, Co. B, 63d New York Volunteers, aged 48 years, was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness, Virginia, May 5th, 1864, by a musket ball, which struck anterior to the superior angle of the occipital bone, fracturing both tables of the skull and depressing a portion of the bone to the extent of one-fourth of an inch. He was conveyed to Alexandria, Virginia, and entered the 3d division hospital on May 12th. Little, if any, constitutional disturbance existed; the patient ate and slept well and was able to walk about. On the 16th, he was placed under the influence of chloroform and ether, equal parts, and Surgeon Edwin Bentley, U. S. V., trephined the skull, removed a few small fragments, and elevated the depressed bone. No hæmorrhage followed the operation. Cold water dressings were applied, the head slightly elevated, and quiet and abstemious diet strictly enjoined. The case progressed without any untoward symptoms. On June 25th, some small pieces of skull and shreds of cloth were removed from the wound. On September 26th, the wound had entirely healed and the patient received a furlough of thirty days, at the expiration of which he returned. On December 20th, 1864, he was discharged from the service on surgeon's certificate of disability, by reason of dizziness and headache which supervened any exercise. A communication from the Commissioner of Pensions, dated January 3d, 1868, states that Fitzpatrick is a pensioner, and that his disability is rated as one-half and permanent. The case is reported by Surgeon E. Bentley, U. S. V. On January 28th, 1870, Pension Examiner J. W. Foward reports from the National Military Asylum at Augusta, Maine, (of which institution the patient was an inmate,) that there was a deep indentation at the seat of the wound. There was complete loss of sight of left eye and the vision of the right eye was much impaired. The patient suffered from headache, dizziness, temporary loss of sight of right eve, and was unable to remain in the sun or perform any labor requiring stooping or much exertion. Since he was wounded he was subject to fits of an epileptiform character, which supervened upon unusual exertion. His disability is rated total and permanent.