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The Sheffield Museum of Anaesthesia
September 12, 2009 7:45 PM   Subscribe

The Sheffield Museum of Anaesthesia presents its collection of mysterious, terrifying antique items once used to render people unconscious.
posted by Faint of Butt (25 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
So this Ana... Hey, wait a minute!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:49 PM on September 12, 2009


heh.... this will gowell
posted by HuronBob at 7:51 PM on September 12, 2009


"Our Exhibits Will Put You To Sleep!"
posted by Joe Beese at 7:56 PM on September 12, 2009


I suppose the rectal funnel could be called an Analgizer...
posted by timeo danaos at 8:00 PM on September 12, 2009


Medical antique story. Out of novelty, my father bought an unusual looking brass device (Fig. A) from one of his retired flea market friends for $10.00. The reason the gentleman (who also did not know what it was) was selling it so cheaply was because of what had happened when he was playing around with it. Unable to determine the nature of the device, or its function, the man fired the trigger which snapped 16 small razor blades into the palm of his hand. The man's wife told him to not come back home with it. Every time I see an unusual or painful looking antique medical instrument I think of the scarificator.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:02 PM on September 12, 2009 [10 favorites]


This post really knocks me out.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:04 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Used by Dr James Johnston for rectal thiopentone, for "stealing the thyroid".

That's a caption that really raises more questions than it answers.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:04 PM on September 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


these were made in the 50s and 60s and you dare call them ANTIQUE??
posted by pyramid termite at 8:06 PM on September 12, 2009


For those of you who missed the previous justifiably deleted thread, this site can proudly claim to be The Home of the Analgizer, which I think would be a great name for a Comic Book Supervillain. Don't ask why.
posted by wendell at 8:07 PM on September 12, 2009


these were made in the 50s and 60s and you dare call them ANTIQUE??

The minimum age for Officially Antique varies from 50-100 years, with the lower number obviously applying to categories of items that experience rapid technological change, so, yes. In fact, for some technologies, I'd say 50 years is way too long. If I still had my old Commodore 64, it would be totally Antique.
posted by wendell at 8:13 PM on September 12, 2009


I was expecting to see a large mallet.
posted by eye of newt at 8:19 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can use anything, as long as it's not operated by a Gumby.
posted by ilana at 8:22 PM on September 12, 2009


Used by Dr James Johnston for rectal thiopentone, for "stealing the thyroid".

That's a caption that really raises more questions than it answers.


It does, doesn't it? As far as I can tell from a little desultory Googling, "stealing the thyroid" or "stealing the gland" seems to refer to performing thyroid surgery on a patient under local anesthesia, but in such a manner that the patient is not entirely sure exactly when the procedure has begun. Perhaps this was desirable so the patient didn't suddenly panic on the operating table while very sharp instruments were being used around the throat. I'm not at all sure where the rectal funnel fits in, though. Perhaps it was used to induce some type of conscious sedation, but for all I know, maybe it was just used to distract the patient from all the goings-on further up. A rectal funnel would distract me, I'm sure.
posted by timeo danaos at 8:29 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently, rectally injecting ether was once a way of sedating a cough.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:33 PM on September 12, 2009


Or partying like it was 1899...who's to say.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:34 PM on September 12, 2009


Well, thank goodness we have plenty of machines that go BING! to replace the archaic Oscillometre Sphygmometrique and Blease Pulmoflator Series 5050.

Bing!
posted by raztaj at 8:51 PM on September 12, 2009


Scarificator Wikipedia article
posted by Daddy-O at 8:52 PM on September 12, 2009


Best

Post

Ever!


If you are on the western side of the pond, might I suggest the Wood Library-Museum and the Crawford W. Long Museum. For those who are interested in the rectal administration of drugs, it used to be pretty common (and is still not unheard of) to give sedatives rectally in patients who for whatever reason (an uncooperative child, for example) it was impractical to start an IV on (and this route was also used before Alexander Wood invented the hollow needle in 1853). The rectal mucosa has a generous blood supply and drugs administered there are rapidly absorbed. The rectal veins also bypass the hepatic portal circulation, and so drugs administered rectally go straight to the circulation without undergoing first pass metabolism, making them more potent. This has caused problems for some people. This might be too much information for some people, but the fact that the rectal veins bypass the liver also explains why people with cirrhosis or other causes of portal hypertension get hemorrhoids.

There also seems to be a misconception about what anesthesiologists do for a living. Any schmuck can knock someone out. An anesthesiologist wakes you up.
posted by TedW at 9:10 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is it testosterone that makes this kind of stuff look good to me?
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:38 PM on September 12, 2009


performing thyroid surgery on a patient under local anesthesia, but in such a manner that the patient is not entirely sure exactly when the procedure has begun

When I was a young man I had to get a cyst removed from my cheek, and the surgeon tried to use a similar technique.

Him: So, you are travelling to Europe?
Me: Yes. (tensing up face, feeling the blade starting to cut)
Him: Tell me about it.
Me: (no response, eyes clenched, waiting to take my medicine stoically)
Him: Talk to me.
Me: Just fucking do it.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:42 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


here, does this rag smell funny to you?
posted by sexyrobot at 1:54 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


tu;cr
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:28 AM on September 13, 2009


Here is an In Our Time show about the history of anesthesia.
posted by shothotbot at 4:45 AM on September 13, 2009


Huh. Reading this page, I don't feel anything.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:44 AM on September 13, 2009


Count backwards from 10....
posted by livinginmonrovia at 4:31 PM on September 14, 2009


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