Pneumothorax apparatus, London, England, 1901-1930
A pneumothorax is where the lung collapses due to a change in pressure in the chest cavity. This condition occurs when the chest and lungs are penetrated in an accident or injury. Before the discovery of effective antibiotics in the early 1940s, a pneumothorax might be triggered deliberately as a treatment for tuberculosis. Gases such as nitrogen and oxygen would be injected into the chest cavity, collapsing the lung and so allowing it to heal more easily. The apparatus was made by the Genito-Urinary Manufacturing Co Ltd and would have been used in hospitals, especially those dedicated to treating tuberculosis patients.
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Glossary: pneumothorax apparatus
An infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium first identified by Robert Koch in 1882. The disease usually affects the lungs first, and is accompanied by a chronic cough.