It was purposefully held in a part of the hospital where the screams could not be heard. They would give the patient a little whiskey and maybe put a rag in the person's mouth, and they would go ahead and do what they had to do. It was barbaric, absolutely barbaric.
Bellevue had a lot [of amputations], as the city began to grow there [were] industrial accidents, people losing limbs, falling off, infections. This went on quite frequently at Bellevue, and without anesthesia, doctors, surgeons who were performing these operations would become nauseous themselves. Some of them would walk away from the operating room, sometimes they couldn't go through with it.
There's one part in my book where they take a limb off a young boy with his father holding him down, and at the end of the operation, the father [got sick]. On the other hand, according to the Bellevue doctors, the boy was just fine, his life had been saved.