Anyone know Private J. H. M., of the Ist Battalion 3rd regiment Native Contingent.
The next case is a very interesting one. Private J. H. M., of the Ist Battalion 3rd regiment Native Contingent, was present on the 12th of January 1879 at the attack on Sirayo Kraal, the first encounter between our troops and the Zulus. Several prisoners were taken and were being disarmed, when one of them, being irritated by our friendly Kaffirs, tried to force his escape, and, assegai in hand, stabbed right and left at every one. This patient was one thus injured. A bandage was applied, and he was conveyed to Rorke's Drift for treatment. While there several outbursts of severe haemorrhage occurred from the wound, and, though the bleeding points were searched for by all the surgeons at that camp, it could not be permanently stopped, breaking out again after a day or more, or whenever the local means of arrest were withdrawn. On the 26th of January he was sent to Helpmakaar, and I found a wound of a regular punctured nature in the lower end of the left ham, a little above the popliteal space. As there was no bleeding I simply ordered the limb to be kept as quiet as possible. Next day, however, haemorrhage which was found by two civil surgeons who attended to be almost impossible to control took place. When I arrived he had fainted, and his pulse could only just he felt. No further bleeding took place for two days, when it burst forth again. Assisted by Surgeon M'Gann and others, the patient being put under chloroform, I enlarged the wound to look for the bleeding vessels. Having made the incisions, I found a large cavity filled with coagulated blood extending up the limb and amongst the muscles ; compression over the femoral during this procedure was maintained. On relaxing this, after the clot was cleared out, numerous points of bleeding were seen, none of which could be seized for torsion or ligature. The patient was again almost pulseless and his face very pale. Raising the limb, prolonged digital and instrumental pressure all failing, it was agreed that ligature of the femoral was the only remedy left to us, I proceeded at once to do that. On reaching the sheath of the vessel the profunda waa found to have a longer course than usual, and to he lying very close to the superficial femoral, both vessels being plainly felt pulsating. On applying pressure with the point of one finger on the profunda branch, I found not a drop of blood escaped at the wound after the withdrawal of the tourniquet from the groin, I therefore adopted the lesser operation, and tied the profunda- The wound healed rapidly, and after the first two days, when he complained of slight uneasiness in the limb, there was nothing else to note. On the 15th of February he left Helpmakaar for the base hospital. He afterwards returned to duty and joined " Buller's Horse," with which famous body he went through all the reconnaissances and battles, including Ulundi, without any inconvenience. This patient was one of those in the hospital at Rorke's Drift on the memorable 22ud of January, and managed. under fire, to hop out from one building to the other. He therefore had four marvellous escapes within a. few days — first, that of the stab at Sirayo's Kraal ; secondly, the escape under fire from the hospital at Rorke's Drift; thirdly, the frequent profuse haerhages ; and fourthly, the operation.
Source: Surgical Experiences in the Zulu and Transvaal Wars, 1879 and 1881