The most dangerous peri-operative complication related to surgery was uncontrolled bleeding, so that hemostasis has always been an critical and challenging problem. There were a number of inventive ways in which surgeons attempted to control the loss of blood.
Traité complet d’anatomie de l’homme, 2nd ed. (1866–1871) by J.M. Bourgery, Claude Bernard, and N.H. Jacob
Certainly no device in the history of medicine has been more popular for the control of bleeding than the tourniquet. The application of pressure to control blood loss is a natural reaction, though it was not until 1674 that Morell reported the use of a field tourniquet when he attached a cord to a wooden rod, and twisted it to achieve hemostasis. Here illustrated are the two most common methods of controlling blood loss in the nineteenth century.