Chest-screening frame, London, England, 1927-1930
This is a fluoroscopic screening unit dating from the late 1920s. A fluoroscope is a form of X-ray apparatus. It created images of the inside of the body that were viewed in real time and without taking and developing X-ray photographs. Chest-screening frames like this one diagnosed diseases such as pulmonary tuberculosis. Doctors using radiography and X-rays found some ‘healthy’ patients still showed signs of the disease, such as lesions in the lungs. An X-ray machine like this was the only way to view inside the body without surgery. This fluoroscopic chest-screening unit was made by the General Radiological and Surgical Apparatus Company, and owned by Dr Noel Hypher. He was a physician who ran a private practice before the Second World War.
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Glossary: diagnostic tool
Any range of medical instruments used to diagnose illness.
A wave of electromagnetic radiation that has high energy and short wavelength. It is able to pass through many materials, except those of high density such as metals or bones. Discovered in 1895 by William Roentgen.
An X-ray device equipped with a fluorescent screen on which a patient's insides can be viewed in real time. The patient is constantly exposed to a low X-ray radiation, in contrast to a normal X-ray machine which uses a short burst of a higher level of radiation.
Glossary: x-ray screening unit