The whole world uses gypsum bandage. But few people know that it was created by Mykola Pyrogov, a Ukrainian surgeon during the Crimean War (1853-1856).
In his practice, the surgeon used different raw materials for dressings: starch and gutta-percha. But each of these materials had its drawbacks. While treating the military, he began to use a fixed bandage made of starch. Pieces of cloth soaked in starch were applied layer by layer to the broken limb. The starch began to harden, and the damaged bone in the immobile state began to fuse up over time.
But one day, after visiting the sculptor N.A. Stepanov’s studio, Pyrogov saw the effect of a gypsum solution. He realized that it could be used in surgery and immediately applied bandages and strips of canvas soaked in a solution of water and plaster to the fractured tibia. As a result, the doctor got an excellent result: the bandage dried instantly, and the rather complicated fracture healed even without suppuration.