Phineas Gage Essay

Submitted By sdramanathan
Words: 388
Pages: 2

Phineas Gage, aged 25, was working on the railway line in September 1848.
Gage’s job was to remove rock, using explosives so that the railway tracks could be put down. He would have to drill the rock and fill the hole with explosive powder and insert a fuse and covering the whole with sand. It would then be packed down by pounding it with a tamping rod, which weighed up to 6kg and was over 1m long and had a diameter of 3.2cm. Gage was preparing a charge but had failed to put the sand on top before he tamped it down. The iron rod scrapped the rock, causing a spark, which ignited the explosive powder. The explosion threw the rod out of the hole, and through Gage’s left cheek and out of the top of his skull, landing 25m away from him.

Surprisingly Gage survived this monstrous event, so far we know Gage has lost sight in his left eye but these next few weeks will be critical. Doctor says ‘we expect Mr Gage to loose some, if not all, eye sight – due to the rod piercing through Mr Gage’s occipital lobe and some changes in personality may occur.’

The out come of the tamping rod piercing through Phineas Gage’s skull and brain has resulted in Gage loosing eyes sight in his left eye. He made a shocking recovery of only 2 months. He however had a complete change in personality. The brain tissue destroyed must have been substantial (considering not only the initial trauma but the subsequent infection as well) though debate as to whether this was in both frontal lobes, or