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The Edwin Smith Papyrus
Case Four
A GAPING WOUND IN THE HEAD PENETRATING TO THE BONE AND SPLITTING THE SKULL

TITLE: Instructions concerning a gaping wound in his head penetrating to the bone (and) splitting his skull.

EXAMINATION: If thou examinest a man having a gaping wound in his head, penetrating to the bone, (and) smashing his skull, thou shouldst palpate his wound. shouldst thou find something disturbing therein under the fingers, (and) he shudders exceedingly, while the swelling which is over it protrudes, he discharges blood from both nostrils (and) from both his ears, he suffers with stiffness in his neck, so that he is unable to look at his two shoulders and his breast.

DIAGNOSIS: Thou shouldst say regarding him: "One having a gaping wound in his head, penetrating to the bone, (and) splitting skull; while he discharges from both his nostrils. (and) from both his ears, (and) he suffers with stiffness in his neck. An ailment with which I will contend."

TREATMENT: Now when thou findest that skull of that man is split. thou shouldst not bind him, (but) moor him at his mooring stakes until the period of his injury passes by. His treatment is sitting. Make for him two supports of brick, until thou know he has reached a decisive point. Thou shouldst apply grease to his head, (and) soften his neck therewith and both his shoulders. Thou shouldst do likewise for every man whom thou findest having a split skull.

NOTE A: As for: "Splitting his skull", it means separating shell from shell of his skull, while fragments remain sticking in the flesh of his head, and do not come away.

NOTE B: As for: "(Until) thou knowest he has reached a decisive point," it means (until) thou knowest whether he will die or he will live; for he is (a case of) "an aliment with I will content."

case three
index of The Edwin Smith Papyrus
case five

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