Medical Whatchamacallit?

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    • #132459

      I have another two artifacts I need help identifying! Both of these were found in a 1939 Doctor bag.  I have attached the two images.

      The first is a sharp spike that fits into a hollow tube. The tube has two holes along the sides and has a cut-off bottom. The bottom of the spike sticks through the hole when inserted into the casing.

      The second looks like a large needle with a bend eye, however the end is not sharp. The loop (bent up) has no sharp edges.

      Any ideas?

    • #132466
      Rose McMahon

      I think the two part item with the spike might be a cannula. I’ve seen them in Welsh Social History collections, usually associated with veterinary treatments for bloat, a life threatening condition in dogs, sheep, cows. The spike is inserted into the tube, and then penetrates the stomach of the patient to create a small puncture wound. It is then withdrawn, leaving the tube in place, so the excess gas can drain out through the puncture.

      A good source to consult would be The Wellcombe Collection in London.

    • #132465

      Thank you 🙂 I will take a look!

    • #132464

      My colleague says depending on size it could be a pneumothorax or  venous cannula. The two parts are put together and the sharp tip used to puncture the vein or chest wall. The inner needle is removed, leaving the outer tube in place. A rubber tube can then be inserted into the vein or other work done. The side opening may be to allow it to be used in an area where the end becomes blocked, e.g. withdrawing air or fluid from a chest cavity.

      The larger item could be a curette. Again, size will help determine its use. Wellcome Collection has an amazing amount of medical tools from all periods.

      All the best

    • #132463
      Rose McMahon

      The instrument in two parts has different names for the different components. The cannula is the tube. The pointed section is a trocar.


      This may be of help, as well:

      That should have been “Wellcome” Institute in my previous post.


      Best wishes

      Rose McMahon



    • #132462
      Rose McMahon

      Another helpful website.


    • #132461

      Thanks again!  I also thought the 2nd item might be a curette, however is does not have any cutting edge as all edges are smooth… it is approx. 6″ long.

    • #132460
      Sally Johnson

      I have some of the number 2, I have a complete set 3 needle type items, the littlest one was for a child.  A doctor stated that it was for blood letting, for high blood pressure for example.


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