Field surgical pannier set, United Kingdom, 1905: This large medical and surgical instrument set provided a wide range of equipment that may be needed by a frontline medical unit attached to the army. Equipment is supplied to sterilise the instruments before surgery, anaesthetise patients, perform amputations and trephinations, and includes instruments to open up the body and stitch up wounds. The kit also contains a saline infusion apparatus. Saline is used to wash wounds, to dilute drugs and also as a substitute for blood plasma. In the foreground in the blue lined case is an aspirator used to remove liquids and gases from the body. The instruments were made by at least eight different surgical and medical instrument makers and the chemicals were made by Burroughs, Wellcome & Co. The kit would have been used in field hospitals near the front line. Although it pre-dates the First World War by nearly a decade, it almost certainly saw use during that conflict.
USA Hospital Department Civil War Surgery Set by Dietrich W Kolbe
This example is a mahagony cased brass bound four tier field set with double sliding military latches. The brass plaque is missing but would have been inscribed USA Hospital Department. Instruments are marked Kolbe/Phila and both large bone forceps are marked USA Hosp. Dep’t. It contains the usual instruments expected for field use in war-large amputation knives, capitol saw, urethral sounds and urinary catheters, trephine, bullet forceps and probe. The bullet forceps have a open earlier design for the index finger. The total instrument count for the set is 47.
Here’s just a few of the 282 photos I took at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago. It had lots of Victorian and Edwardian things in the museum, naturally. I was quite to the point of dribbling and drooling over everything I saw, hence all the many photos. You can check the whole album out on my Flickr.
Simbionix has released a couple interesting Ob/Gyn simulation products. The PELVIC Mentor, helpfully pointed at by the right hand in the image, prepares physicians for pelvic floor reconstructions, with a specific focus on transvaginal mesh procedures…