Long handled cautery, Europe, undated

Made:
Unknown in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Long handled cautery for cauterizing plague buboes

Bubonic plague causes enlarged glands or buboes on the neck, groin and armpits. The buboes were cauterised in an attempt to prevent larger buboes forming but it probably did not save many lives. (Cauterisation is the use of heat to burn or remove part of the body.) It was thought that the disease spread from human contact, which is why this cautery has a long handle. Bubonic plague is actually transmitted by fleas on rats.

Details

Category:
Surgery
Object Number:
A629400
Materials:
metal, wood
type:
cautery
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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