Von Graefe’s Cataract Knife (From the Collection #32)

The Story Cataracts are an opacity of the eye’s crystalline lens, found behind the pupil. This opacity stops rays of light from reaching the retina, causing blindness. The first recorded cataract surgeries occurred as early as 600 BCE. Couching, a process in which the cataractous crystalline lens is displaced inside the vitreous cavity of the … More Von Graefe’s Cataract Knife (From the Collection #32)

Carbolic Steam Sprayer (From the Collection #24)

The Story Lord Joseph Lister revolutionized surgery in the late 19th century by introducing antiseptic methods. These drastically reduced the incidence of infection and death, enabling the field of surgery to expand rapidly. In the 1860s, mortality rates for surgeries were at 45-50% due to infection. Rates of infection were especially high in trauma cases, … More Carbolic Steam Sprayer (From the Collection #24)

Anastomosis Button (From the Collection #8)

The Story Once called the “surgical genius of our generation” by Dr. William Mayo, Dr. John Benjamin Murphy (1857-1916) was a renowned American surgeon who pioneered techniques in general surgery, orthopedics, cardiothoracic surgery, and neurosurgery. He attached his name to a number of tests and instruments, including Murphy’s sign (a diagnostic for cholecystitis), Murphy’s punch … More Anastomosis Button (From the Collection #8)

Heart and Lung Machine (From the Collection #5)

The Story The creation of a functional heart and lung bypass machine in the early 1950s was a milestone in the history of heart surgery. Prior to WWI, the average survival rate for heart operations was less than forty percent. Twentieth-century technological innovations such as the invention of x-ray machines, the discovery of anti-coagulants, and … More Heart and Lung Machine (From the Collection #5)

Reflections on Friendly Fire

Friendly Fire is a project developed by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in collaboration with the Museum of Health Care engaging the power of the artist as a story teller and synthesizer. The artist, Howie Tsui investigated health and medicine during the war of 1812. The resulting exhibition illuminates the brutal conditions of the body in war and the medical techniques of the period. … More Reflections on Friendly Fire