Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Random Interlude

I stumbled upon this amazing image the other day.

CHEMICAL WARFARE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
CHEMICAL WARFARE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY© IWM (D 648)

Here we see a nurse at the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London in 1940 fitting a baby with a gas mask during a Chemical Warfare drill. Note the bellows arrangement on the side.

Despite many lectures frightening the public about the dangers of phosgene and mustard gas, those threats never materialised during World War II.

Enough damage was done with plain old bullets, shrapnel and infection.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Queen Victoria Feels no Pain

Women giving birth in the modern era owe a great deal of gratitude to Queen Victoria, although these facts are not widely known. However, were it not for her, it is possible that stigmas surrounding pain relief in childbirth might still exist.

But before we explore this, we must first discuss some of the early history of anaesthetics.


It’s hard to imagine a world without anaesthetics. We use them liberally in almost every facet of medicine, from the simple insertion of cannulas, to keeping people unconscious on the operating table for hours at a time.

So it may surprise you to learn that while the history of surgery is almost as old as medicine, the concept of anaesthetics has only been around since the nineteenth century.