Ampoule of anti gas-gangrene serum

1934 in Paris

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One of four glass ampoules of gas-gangrene serum, by Laboratoire due Val de Grace, French, 1934. Top View. White
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Single glass ampoule, one of four, of gas-gangrene serum, by Laboratoire due Val de Grace, French, 1934

Gas gangrene is an infection caused by bacteria in soil finding its way into wounds that have not been cleaned properly. As the flesh and tissue decay a foul smelling gas is given off. This ampoule of serum contains antibodies from an animal infected with the disease. Injected into a patient, this serum was used to prevent or cure the infection. Treatment today is usually by antibiotics, and surgery to remove the dead and infected tissue to prevent further spread of the bacteria. The infection was an especially feared complication of wounds in the First World War. Gangrene was often fatal before the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
A629772 Pt2
immune serum
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • vessel
Loan, Wellcome Trust

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