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Infant laryngoscope with Macintosh blade, England, 1968-1975

Infant laryngoscope with Macintosh blade, England, 1968-1975

Credits: Science Museum

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A laryngoscope is an instrument designed to examine the voice box or be used during intubation to insert an endotracheal tube to keep the airway open during surgery or to apply treatments. In 1943, Robert Reynolds Machintosh (1897-1989) introduced the curved blade in place of a straight one. The blade is inserted in between the tongue and the epiglottis, instead of beyond it, and gives a better view of the vocal cords during intubation so as not to damage them during the procedure.

Object number:

1981-1768

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    Glossary:

    Glossary: laryngoscope

    An instrument used to examine the larynx

    Glossary: anaesthetic

    An agent that causes insensitivity to pain. Applied to either the whole body (general anaesthetic) or a particular area or region (local anaesthetic).