Tracheotomy set, c 1870-1925.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The set consists of three Fuller's silver-plated cannulae, two scalpels made by Eggington of Manchester and a sharp hook made by Down Bros of London. 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 conventional breathing imposible.