Case for surgical instruments
Mahogany velvet lined case for surgical instrument set from surgical pannier, 1905 pattern
This large medical and surgical instrument set provided a wide range of equipment that may be needed by a frontline medical unit attached to the army. Equipment is supplied to sterilise the instruments before surgery, anaesthetise patients, perform amputations and trephinations, and includes instruments to open up the body and stitch up wounds. The kit also contains a saline infusion apparatus. Saline is used to wash wounds, to dilute drugs and also as a substitute for blood plasma. In the foreground in the blue lined case is an aspirator used to remove liquids and gases from the body.
The instruments were made by at least eight different surgical and medical instrument makers and the chemicals were made by Burroughs, Wellcome & Co. The kit would have been used in field hospitals near the front line. Although it pre-dates the First World War by nearly a decade, it almost certainly saw use during that conflict.