6 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Sudden … change to mild weather quite calm. Was kept all morning by a sad tragedy. Mrs Mitchell1 (wife of Tom M. who is a brother of Wm Mitchell, coal agent) cut her throat. I have never seen such a case all my life. She had severed the larynx first above the Thyroid cartilage but had missed the vessels on either side. I sent for G.2 + we got her along to Viewfield3 where Dav. stitched the wound + the larynx having first put a tracheot. tube through the crico-thyroid membrane4. Then we gave W. Lees5 chlor[oform] + removed the remaining plate. The bone is quite united. I motored to the town head + down to Hosp. + Bridgelands6. There was some rain at night.

1 William Mitchell (about 1847-), coal agent, and his wife Annie Agnes Leslie Anderson lived at Heath Park, Selkirk; his brother Tom has not been identified

2 G. might refer to Dr Graham but the Editor does not recall Dr Muir calling him this before, preferring Dav.

3 Viewfield Nursing Home, Selkirk, acquired 1920 for the Muir and Graham medical partnership

4 “The cricothyroid membrane (CTM) is the recommended site of access to the airway during cricothyrotomy to provide emergency oxygenation.” [Campbell, M., Shanahan, H., Ash, S. et al. The accuracy of locating the cricothyroid membrane by palpation – an intergender study. BMC Anesthesiol 14, 108 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2253-14-108%5D

5 Wilfred Lees junior (1900-1942), plumber, born Preston, Lancashire was on a motorbike holiday when he was hit by Dugald Shankland’s car at Fairnilea on 11 August 1921; his treatment was referred to in Dr Muir’s diary entry of 23 August 1921 “Was for fully 2 hours giving Chloroform to Wilfred Lees at Viewfield while David clamped the broken tibia. It was cleverly done + I hope will be successful as it was the first time D. had done it.”

6 Bridgelands, just on the Galashiels side of Selkirk; Proprietor the Executors of George Rodger (about 1843-1910) and Occupier his widow Elizabeth Charlotte Rodger née Eck (about 1848-1928); their children were George Frederick Eck Rodger (1873-1956), Janet Margaret Rodger (1874-), Agnes Christine Rodger (1875-), Peter Edward Alexander Rodger (1876-1913), William Samuel Rodger (1877-), Walter Vincent Rodger (1879-) and Elizabeth Charlotte ‘Carlota’ Rodger (1884-1858)

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

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Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

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