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Mechanical leech, London, England, 1850-1855

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Glossary:

Glossary: automatic lancet

A surgical instrument of various forms, commonly sharp-pointed and double-edged, used in venesection, and in opening abscesses, etc,which uses a spring mechanism instead of human force.

Glossary: bloodletting

Puncturing a vein in order to withdraw blood. A popular medical practice for over two thousand years. Bloodletting often involved withdrawing large quantities of blood in the belief that this would cure or prevent many illnesses and diseases. The practice has been abandoned for all but a few very specific conditions.

Glossary: mechanical leech

A mechanical device that promotes the flow of blood through surgical wounds. It was used to replicated the effects of having a real leech attached to the body but without the risk of infection.