The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth, and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine

From a section of this weird and fascinating book the TLS reviewer (Anne Hardy) of January 18, 2019 (p. 5), has pieced together this bit of maritime medical history:

As well as many self-inflicted tribulations there are a number of hair-raising emergencies, including that described in “All at Sea”, which offers a stunning lesson in what courage and a clear head can achieve. A mutinous seaman on a whaling ship had slashed the captain’s neck from jawbone to clavicle, laying open the subclavian vein, which lies on top of one of the principal branches of the aorta. The ship’s mate [Hinckley] saved the situation by plunging his fingers into the wound and gripping until the bleeding stopped. Then, remembering an emergency medical handbook “prepared for the use of sea captains and others, when no surgeon was on board”, he saved the captain’s life by using the interrupted suture technique: each stitch is left separate from the next, so that the surgeon can tighten or remove them as necessary. Mate Hinckley is one of the few real heroes to feature among these tales.