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Simpsons Perforator

Item details

Object number M-133
Manufacturer Maker unknown
Place United Kingdom
Date 1930s
Donor Dr R Cuthbertson
Category Surgical tools and equipment


From the 1800s until very recently, obstetrics was a normal part of general practice. In cold climates such as northern Europe, the long winters meant that many people suffered from vitamin D deficiency.This lead to a high incidence of rickets and a deformed pelvis. Women with rickets often had long obstructed labours that ended in the death of their child. Sir James Young Simpson was a Scottish professor of obstetrics. The Simpson perforator was designed to safely open the head of the dead baby to reduce size and allow a delivery without the need for a Caesarian Section.