Posts tagged apparatus

Heating and cooling apparatuses for use in the sick-room

Top: Fig 1 and 2 - Hot air apparatus for bed and stove. Fig 3 and 4 - Cloak and frame for steam or hot-air therapy in a chair. Note the small additional stove under the chair, should additional warming be needed.

Bottom: Caps for cooling the head - Fig 2- Still water (suitable for <1 hr cooling sessions), Fig 3 - Flowing water. Additional water pump required.

"Personal Saunas" were not just a thing of the 1970s, though by that point in time, at least open flame wasn’t being used to warm people up.

For a while (and even in some psuedoscientific settings today), heating and cooling the body was believed to have therapeutic effects beyond what we know it to do today (lowering or raising body temperature, relieving sinus blockage, muscle relaxation, and a few other isolated effects). Those effects can, and often are, still be used to great benefit for many patients.

However, "therapeutically" sweating out a patient until they faint has no benefit and many risks, but was not uncommon for both internal and external disease treatment for a short period in the 1890s.

Aside from the truly beneficial uses, cooling apparatuses were most often used to discourage “lascivious behavior”  or masturbation in boys. Both genital and head-cooling apparatuses were employed in this attempt to curb what was (wrongly) considered to be one of the most harmful habits for someone to develop.

Catalogue of Surgeons’ Instruments and Medical Appliances, Electro-Therapeutic Apparatus, Sundries for Surgery and the Sick-Room &c. James Woolley, Sons & Co., Ltd., 1896.

biomedicalephemera:

Now, I understand the right two items and how they help with deformity and paralysis. Not so sure how the straightjacket would help…

biomedicalephemera:

Now, I understand the right two items and how they help with deformity and paralysis. Not so sure how the straightjacket would help…


Injuries of the nose, with marked deformity, are in a measure combated by devices invented for restoring the missing portions of the injured member. Taliacoitus, the distinguished Italian surgeon of the sixteenth century, devised an operation that now bears his name, and consists in fashioning a nose from the fleshy tissues of the arm. The arm is approximated to the head and held in this position by an apparatus or system of bandages for about ten days, at which time it is supposed that it can be severed, and further trimming and paring of the nose is practised. A column is subsequently made from the upper lip.

-Drs. George M. Gould &amp; Walter L. Pyle, in Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine. 1900.
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Using one body part to save or regenerate another is apparently a much older practice than I thought. Attaching a severed foot, ear, or other extremity to the highly-vascularized stomach to regenerate vessels before attempting re-attachment at its proper site is fairly common these days. It&#8217;s especially common in re-attachment attempts where the severed body part was detached for an extended period of time that normally would result in an unsuccessful re-attachment.

Injuries of the nose, with marked deformity, are in a measure combated by devices invented for restoring the missing portions of the injured member. Taliacoitus, the distinguished Italian surgeon of the sixteenth century, devised an operation that now bears his name, and consists in fashioning a nose from the fleshy tissues of the arm. The arm is approximated to the head and held in this position by an apparatus or system of bandages for about ten days, at which time it is supposed that it can be severed, and further trimming and paring of the nose is practised. A column is subsequently made from the upper lip.

-Drs. George M. Gould & Walter L. Pyle, in Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine. 1900.

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Using one body part to save or regenerate another is apparently a much older practice than I thought. Attaching a severed foot, ear, or other extremity to the highly-vascularized stomach to regenerate vessels before attempting re-attachment at its proper site is fairly common these days. It’s especially common in re-attachment attempts where the severed body part was detached for an extended period of time that normally would result in an unsuccessful re-attachment.

Early 20th-century ventilation testing device. It worked much the same as modern tank-type spirometers do today. In TB, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and other situations affecting lung function, ventilation testing can both help patients improve the function of their lungs, and let doctors know where a patient is at in terms of overall well-being.
While many aspects of inspiration and respiration were known and studied in the early 1900s, the most common lung test these days, peak expiratory flow (which measures the airflow through the bronchi and is especially important in asthma), was not on the scene until 1959.
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When Charles Schulz had a heart attack in 1982, his doctors realized that his poor lung function following his quadruple bypass would greatly prolong his recovery, and presented him with an incentive spirometer. When patients are recovering from rib damage (as in many people who have undergone CPR) or heart surgery that requires extended bed rest, use of an incentive spirometer reduces the chances of deadly fluid buildup in the lungs. Every day, patients breathe in through the device as slowly and deeply as possible, and balls or plungers inside the spirometer indicate lung function, by indicating sustained inhalation vacuum.
While hospitalized, a nurse put a black paint marker at Schulz&#8217; bedside. She didn&#8217;t say much, except that if he could draw something on the wall before he left (this was after Schulz was off of bed rest, but not ready to leave), it would greatly cheer future patients who are going through the same things that he is. Though Schulz never before or after did &#8220;requests&#8221; using his Peanuts characters, the day before he left, he decided to draw a few quick panels on the wall (despite his hand tremors that developed after the quadruple bypass). 
The panels were of Snoopy in the hospital, with an incentive spirometer. He tries and tries to get the three balls to where they have to be, over and over, and when he finally does, he collapses with exhaustion. Schulz commented that the frustration and agony at getting the spirometer balls in place was what impressed upon him the most at the hospital. It wasn&#8217;t an &#8220;upbeat&#8221; strip, it wasn&#8217;t a &#8220;happy&#8221; strip, but it was one that showed that even Snoopy, the Red Baron, had a hard time with what they were going through. He could commiserate. And in the end, he could do it&#8230;but he knew how hard it was.
Try as I might, I can&#8217;t find a photograph of that strip he drew. The story of it comes from the official 50th Anniversary Peanuts collection.

Early 20th-century ventilation testing device. It worked much the same as modern tank-type spirometers do today. In TB, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and other situations affecting lung function, ventilation testing can both help patients improve the function of their lungs, and let doctors know where a patient is at in terms of overall well-being.

While many aspects of inspiration and respiration were known and studied in the early 1900s, the most common lung test these days, peak expiratory flow (which measures the airflow through the bronchi and is especially important in asthma), was not on the scene until 1959.

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When Charles Schulz had a heart attack in 1982, his doctors realized that his poor lung function following his quadruple bypass would greatly prolong his recovery, and presented him with an incentive spirometer. When patients are recovering from rib damage (as in many people who have undergone CPR) or heart surgery that requires extended bed rest, use of an incentive spirometer reduces the chances of deadly fluid buildup in the lungs. Every day, patients breathe in through the device as slowly and deeply as possible, and balls or plungers inside the spirometer indicate lung function, by indicating sustained inhalation vacuum.

While hospitalized, a nurse put a black paint marker at Schulz’ bedside. She didn’t say much, except that if he could draw something on the wall before he left (this was after Schulz was off of bed rest, but not ready to leave), it would greatly cheer future patients who are going through the same things that he is. Though Schulz never before or after did “requests” using his Peanuts characters, the day before he left, he decided to draw a few quick panels on the wall (despite his hand tremors that developed after the quadruple bypass). 

The panels were of Snoopy in the hospital, with an incentive spirometer. He tries and tries to get the three balls to where they have to be, over and over, and when he finally does, he collapses with exhaustion. Schulz commented that the frustration and agony at getting the spirometer balls in place was what impressed upon him the most at the hospital. It wasn’t an “upbeat” strip, it wasn’t a “happy” strip, but it was one that showed that even Snoopy, the Red Baron, had a hard time with what they were going through. He could commiserate. And in the end, he could do it…but he knew how hard it was.

Try as I might, I can’t find a photograph of that strip he drew. The story of it comes from the official 50th Anniversary Peanuts collection.

Now, I understand the right two items and how they help with deformity and paralysis. Not so sure how the straightjacket would help&#8230;

Now, I understand the right two items and how they help with deformity and paralysis. Not so sure how the straightjacket would help…

The Victorian era was the first time that scoliosis and other back deformities were treated by corrective braces, rather than either ignoring the problem or trying to force the spine back to its proper position all at once.

The Victorian era was the first time that scoliosis and other back deformities were treated by corrective braces, rather than either ignoring the problem or trying to force the spine back to its proper position all at once.