On this day in 1918, “the Australian hospital ship ‘Karoola’ repatriated British POWs released by Turks at Beirut and Tripoli” (navyhistory.org.au/29-october-1918). In an account of his time aboard the ship written for The Medical Journal of Australia, surgeon Gordan Craig, M.B. told of a unique surgical improvisation to repair a head wound: “To prevent adhesions re-forming, I inserted a circular piece of thin rubber membrane between the cortex and scalp…The French nation have long been famous for the rubber preventives they make against procreation of the human race or the contraction of venereal disease. In the manufacture of these goods only the very best rubber is used…I commend this tissue to my colleagues for trial in surgical work” (2/22, 25 November 1916).
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