In addition to the treatment of charlatans, the doctors of the American West used equipment of a quality and effectiveness more than questionable. The lack of general knowledge of science has cost many lives. Furthermore, the devices were not sufficiently sterile, and the doctors unknowingly spread diseases. Fortunately, doctors nowadays use high-quality equipment to treat patients. Special cleaning companies disinfect these devices and return them sterile and clean. They did not have this in the Old West, so the equipments were cleaned with alcohol and polished with a linen cloth. When you think about it, it’s not exactly hygienic.
For example, they used a gadget called a pulsometer which was nothing more than a glass container with colored water in it and with bulbs at each end. The patient grabbed the pulsometer to take his pulse, and bubbles rose in the liquid. But what was this device actually measuring? Well, we can say, quite frankly, that he was measuring absolutely nothing at all. The devices, like the doctors, needed to gain more experience and be further developed to provide better treatment for sick patients. This was a bad time to be sick, and we’re fortunate that it’s been perfected for good over the centuries.