Pean's tracheotomy cannula carrier, France, 1901-1930.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This device is designed to carry a cannula, or tube, which would be used in a tracheotomy. A tracheotomy is a surgical procedure where an incision is made into the trachea (windpipe) and a tube is inserted to enable the patient to breathe. It is normally carried out when the airway above the trachea is damaged or blocked, making unasisted breathing imposible.