Dennis Robb and Lisa Abbott image
From left to right: Dennis Robb, CEO of HealthTrust Europe and Lisa Abbott, Associate Head of School for Nursing and Midwifery with some of the medical instruments on display

An eye-opening display showing some of the medical and surgical instruments that were used to perform procedures over 100 years ago is being hosted by healthcare organisation HealthTrust Europe.

The items are being displayed next to some modern-day equivalents to highlight medical advances and how the healthcare we receive today has been revolutionised by technology.

The array of old devices, some of which look gruesome by today’s standards, have been loaned to healthcare solutions partner HealthTrust Europe by Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences.

The collection shows how if you had been alive 100 years ago, you may have undergone surgery anaesthetised via an ether mask, received a vaccine via a big glass syringe or used a ceramic inhaler to assist your breathing.

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Dennis Robb, CEO of HealthTrust Europe, said: “This display brings to life how medical technology has developed over the decades and how fortunate we are for these advancements today.

“The healthcare solutions we offer are clinically-led and we work in partnership with some fantastic suppliers of products and services across the healthcare delivery spectrum, acting as a bridge between them and healthcare providers to improve healthcare in the communities we serve.

“It is humbling for us to help bring innovation to the NHS and the private sector to create a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Other instruments on display include an appliance used during anaesthesia that contains a Sparklets bulb similar to those in soda siphons, an old lumbar-puncture kit and a ‘flip-flop’ oxygen mask, so called because of the way it inflated and deflated when used.

The items are normally kept at Birmingham City University’s City South campus. The University has been providing healthcare training since the 1960s, with 12,245 students graduating in subjects allied to medicine in the last decade alone. Its School of Nursing and Midwifery offers a range of courses in adult nursing, child nursing and midwifery.

Lisa Abbott, Associate Head of School for Nursing and Midwifery from Birmingham City University, commented: “We’re proud of our role in training the next generation of healthcare practitioners. This display is a chance for us to look back and realise how healthcare has evolved over the decades.”

The display will be in place at HealthTrust Europe’s office in Edgbaston, Birmingham, during March and April and was launched during British Science Week.

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