Robert Liston, (28 October 1794 – 7 December 1847) was a pioneering Scottish surgeon, often referred to as the fastest knife in the West End, this being because he was well known for dexterity and speed in his operations.
The reason for his extreme speed in what we know to be the delicate procedure of surgery is because this was a time before blood transfusion and anaesthetic, therefore speed was essential to reduce pain and improve the odds of survival of a patient.
Reputedly "He could amputate a leg in 2 1⁄2 minutes", although he also is said to have been able to perform the removal of a limb in an amputation in 28 seconds.This being known due to his habit of having requested fellow surgeons to time him. His surgeries were often described as such: "Everyone swore that the first flash of his knife was followed so swiftly by the rasp of saw on bone that sight and sound seemed simultaneous".
Reportedly he has also achieved the only surgery that ended in a 300% mortality rate, this being how:
Due to his fame in the medical world, a visiting doctor requested to sit in on a surgery, this was nothing out of the ordinary, even by today's standards, after all the best place to learn a technique is by the side of a master of it. The operation in question was the amputation of a leg at the hip, during the surgery Liston's hand holding the saw slipped, this was no meagre saw and Liston was certainly not being reserved in his force, resulting in the unfortunate removal of some his assistants fingers.
To further rub salt in the wound (which oddly enough was a medical practice of the day and the origin of the phrase) whilst changing between tools Liston slashed the spectating doctors coat, causing the doctor to react with a start, this, as it would seem, resulted in the spectating doctors death by "fright". Despite all of this Liston amputated the leg in under 2 1⁄2 minutes.
Both the patient and assistant, with notably less digits, died of gangrene, this again being a normal occurrence of the time, as antibiotics were yet to have been invented and Joseph Lister had yet to develop his methods of clean medical practice, due to the horrifically unsanitary conditions of the period hospitals.
This being by way of technicality the only medical procedure to result in a 300% mortality rate, three deaths despite their being only one patient.
As a side job he would probably have been a fantastic butcher.
Further Info: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Liston