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Thoracic aspiration set

Item details

Object number M-171
Manufacturer J Gardiner and Son
Place Scotland
Date 1890s
Category Diagnostic kits


This syringe set is designed for thoracic aspiration procedures. Thoracic aspiration assists the identification of respiratory disease by enabling tissue samples to be collected from the lung and surrounding areas. It was moderately invasive but was done as an ‘in rooms procedure’ by many GPs. Thoracic aspiration enabled collection of fluid from the pleural cavity between the lung and the rib-cage. This could be both diagnostic (to identify infection such as TB or malignant cells) or to relieve the pressure on the lung in ‘wet pleurisy’.

Samples are obtained by inserting a hollow or ‘coring’ needle into the skin, in the chest area. These samples are progressed to pathology after collection. The thoracic aspiration set shown was manufactured in 1890 by J Gardiner & Son of Scotland.