Exhibition View

Earlier this month a view was held for the our new exhibition ‘Out of Our Comfort Zone’ which looks at the work of anaesthetists during wars and disasters.

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The viewing was attended by representatives from the military, medical charities, universities and hospitals, and guided tours were led by our volunteers.

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Some of the interesting artefacts exhibited date back to the nineteenth century and include the table used for the first operation under ether, a chloroform sales pot and a Triservice Apparatus used by the armed forces, in military or major disasters. This robust, portable apparatus was designed by Brigadier Ivan Houghton in 1981, who also attended the event.

The keynote speaker at the event was Dr Andrew Hartle, the AAGBI Council’s Andrew HartlePresident Elect, who treated casualties of the Edgware Road tube bombings in July 2007, and spoke about his experiences.

 Dr. Hartle said, “In this era of rapid technological development within the medical field, few people realise that before 1950, seriously injured people received little or no life-supporting treatment before they arrived at the hospital. Probably something even lesser known, is the contribution of anaesthetists in times of crises. For instance, at the Moorgate tube disaster in 1975, 16 out of the 18 doctors on site were anaesthetists. This exhibition is therefore an important compilation of facts and equipment which illustrate the history of pain relief in crisis situations. If you have ever been directly or indirectly affected by a disaster, I would recommend a visit to this exhibition.”

If you would like to be added to our mailing list to find out about future events, please email heritage@aagbi.org or leave a comment below.

Scroll down for further images of the event and exhibition.

The operating table used for the first operation in Europe under ether. It is possible that it was originally used as a mortuary table, rather than for operations.
The operating table used for the first operation in Europe under ether. The surgeon was Robert Liston and he amputated his patient’s leg in under three minutes. The anaesthetic was given by William Squire, a medical student. It is possible that it was originally used as a mortuary table, rather than for operations.
Though the authenticity of this piece is questionable, it was reputedly was used by David Waldie, a chemist from Liverpool, to store chloroform. Waldie perfected a method of separating chloroform from chloric ether and suggested it to James Young Simpson when he was looking for an alternative to ether. It has been on loan to the Heritage Centre from the Nuffield Department of Anaesthesia since 2003
Though the authenticity of this piece is questionable, it was reputedly was used by David Waldie, a chemist from Liverpool, to store chloroform. Waldie perfected a method of separating chloroform from chloric ether and suggested it to James Young Simpson when he was looking for an alternative to ether.
It has been on loan to the Heritage Centre from the Nuffield Department of Anaesthesia since 2003
This robust, portable apparatus was designed by Brigadier Ivan Houghton in 1981 as a development of the Oxford miniature vaporizer. It can be used in military or major disasters. The top layer contains anaesthetics and analgesics, and the lower section hold equipment for emergency medical treatment.
This robust, portable apparatus was designed by Brigadier Ivan Houghton in 1981 as a development of the Oxford miniature vaporizer. It can be used in military or major disasters. The top layer contains anaesthetics and analgesics, and the lower section hold equipment for emergency medical treatment.
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