Gold Leaf and Minié Balls

William Welsh, MD
JAMA. 1966;197(13):1108. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110130108038.
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To the Editor:—  I refer to the article on gold-leaf treatment of ischemic skin ulcers (196:693, 1966) and to the comment by Dr. Epstein (197:299, 1966).Thirty years ago one of my elderly patients with an ischemic ulcer of the lower leg told me that she and her friends had treated this kind of an ulcer for many years by covering it with a lead sheet made by flattening Minié balls collected from the fields of Gettysburg.My patient had made a special trip to Gettysburg for the particular purpose of finding these leaden pellets, and I think she finally came to me only because she had exhausted her collection. Those from Gettysburg, she said, were considered to be the best, and she had frequently found that the Gettysburg Minié balls helped her friends when ordinary lead sheets had failed. She thought that this treatment of ulcers had


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