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Péan-type artery forceps, Paris, France, 1820-1866

Artery forceps are used to compress the artery and seal small blood vessels or to hold the artery out of the way during surgery. Made by Charrière, a Parisian surgical instrument maker, this type of forceps was invented by Jean Péan (1830-1898), a Parisian surgeon. Péan was known for leaving forceps on vessels for several hours – and sometimes days – during surgery in order to avoid stitching the vessel. It was quite common for surgeons to invent new instruments to aid their work.

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Glossary: artery forceps

forceps are a two-bladed instrument with a handle for compressing or grasping tissues in surgical operations, and for handling sterile dressings, etc. Artery forceps are for specifically grasping and compressing an artery.

Glossary: haemostasis

The stopping of bleeding, either naturally or artificially.