THIS DAY IN MEDICAL HISTORY, 1917 – Patient Joseph Hails suffered from a wound that was exactly 4 inches by 4 inches. His injury wasn’t unique, in fact, many teenagers were “clubbing” at that time. Clubbing in the early 1900s was not what it is today as it was a game based on the ‘ol 4 x 4 spiked-head hammer or club.
This club was used to jump up behind your friend and then club them. Quite often the victim would be taken to the hospital with mortality being very high. Supportive care would be implemented because all the hospital had in stock was a 3 inch x 3 inch gauze pad which was useless against a 4 x 4-inch wound.
Patient Hails came up with the great idea to increase the size to 4 x 4 inches to start saving more lives, and the 4 x 4 was born. When asked, “Why not 5 x 5?” he responded: “Five? That’s ridiculous. Four. Four’s the magic number. You know, 4 chipmunks twirling on a branch eating sunflower on my uncle’s ranch.”