South Australian Medical Heritage Society Inc

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Hospitals,other    organisations
Individuals of    note

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Ethnic medicine
     - Aboriginal
     - Chinese
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Private Collection

These medical heritage items have been donated to an Adelaide organisation and collected for possible future exhibits. They form a unique collection of items, some not represented in other medical museums. 

An artificial pneumothorax machine used in the past to treat tuberculosis. An intrathoracic pressure gauge is on the left. The water levels are used to regulate the volume of air to be instilled into the pleural cavity. The regulator tap (bilingual) is on the right.

Before the advent of ampoules, intramuscular and intravenous drugs were presented in tablet form. They were first dissolved in saline and then injected. The photo shows the drug, number of doses and manufacturer.

Both brothers, with Professor Kerr-Grant’s help, developed the first South Australian ECG Machine in 1936. The machine above is a later model. The record is by ink pens rather than “thermal”.

After chloroform, ether and ethyl chloride became popular anaesthetic agents. The second from left is an ether dripper and a ethyl chloride spray is next to it. The wire masks at the periphery are covered with muslin, applied over the nose and mouth and soaked with the anaesthetic.

Likely finger splints donated by Sir Henry Simpson Newland. The oval gaps were fashioned to accommodate the knuckles.

An “unknown” apparatus: the mirror in the middle could have been used to direct a beam of light at a microscope or an ent concave mirror. It is likely that a light globe was placed above the top of the cylinder.

A dispensing (family or medical) drug box. Various powders and lotions are  stored in glass containers. A spatula and a pestle are in the centre. Weights for the scales are under the pestle (white).

A set of trachaeostomy tubes, dilators and retractors, most likely used during the diphteria epidemic in the early 20th century.

Adrenalin is an adrenergic and vasoprestor stimulant. It is used in emergency treatment of anaphylactic reactions such as insect stings and in asthma attacks.

A neuro surgical kit, used to make burr holes to relieve intracranial pressure due to haemorrhage into the confines of the skull.

Emeritus Professor Donald Simpson has kindly commented about the likely origin of these instruments:

Suture material in the past was stored in glass tubes. A tube containing 'chromic cat gut' is above.

Before the arrival of automated coulter counters to print out the various blood parameters, surgeons and physicians used their own kits. Left is a haemoglobinometer. It measures the blood haemoglobin.

Two samples of Lord Lister's correspondence to one of his patient’s. Clinical details are omitted to preserve confidentiality.

A rubber funnel and tube used for gastric lavage.

A De Vilbiss insufflator, usually used to anaesthetise the oro-pharynx before laryngoscopy.

A simple torch using batteries coupled with a magnifying glass, usually used to view skin lesions.

A similar device used to visualise the vocal cords or nasopharynx.

A mechanical lance used to perforate the skin to obtain a blood sample.

Foot splint, precise function unknown, possibly used to immobilise the toes after surgery.

A portable container with a syringe and first aid drugs.

Paul’s tube used to decompress bowel after surgery. Named after a British surgeon F. T. Paul (1851-1912). Unfortunately shadows distort the picture.