The Old a Operating Theatre & Herb Garret

A group of friends and I went to visit London the other day to check out the Old Operating Theatre which is the oldest operating theatre in Europe.
You had to climb up a rickety spiral stair case and first went through the area where St Thomas’ Hospital used to dry all their herbs and prepare their medicines, there were lots of interesting things to look round and a lot of them you could touch so it was really interactive.
Here’s some lovely bits of bodies.
Just floating around.
And some old branded medicines – life tonic doesn’t sound as catchy these days does it?
And my learning point of the day – Senna is a herb! Senna is a popular medicine on the wards as a laxative (painkillers can really back you up), and I had no idea it was a regular herb of the same name.
Some heroin which of course you used to be able to buy over the counter as a cough suppressant amongst other things.
And a bottle of cocaine, love the danger sign on it, you’d never get away with such a small warning and no child proof top nowadays would you.
This is the old fashioned way of making pills on the above board, they’d all be cut into equal shape and size by using this board.
We all were pretty horrified by the cervical dilator… don’t fancy that thanks very much!
And you might have seen my previous post about traditional nurses belts?
There were a lot of sweet nursing trinkets.
And then it was through to the operating theatre, they call them operating rooms in America because I suppose they weren’t set out like a theatre to have spectators.
You can still see the cut marks in the wooden bench where… one assumes there were amputations?
And they had all the right tools for it too! Infection rates would have been high because they wouldn’t have necessarily washed these (or their blood soaked aprons) in between patients. Long live the NHS eh?
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