O'Dwyer paediatric intubation set, 1905-1920.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Intubation is a surgical procedure whereby a tube is inserted to allow air to pas freely to and from the lungs. Joseph O'Dwyer's (1841-1898) method of intubating the larynx consisted of a foot bellows which pased air into the lungs via tubes whose graduated end pieces were introduced into the larynx. He developed this apparatus in order to prevent diptheria patients from suffocating due to the growth of a false membrane over the larynx which occurs in severe cases of the disease. This set, for use on a child, was probably made in England, and consists of nickel-plated steel instruments.