Robert James Minnit (1889-1974) – with the assistance of Arthur Charles King (1888-1965) – developed the first nitrous oxide and air machine used as pain relief for women during childbirth. These machines let mothers self-administer the appropriate mixture of ‘gas and air’. A techniques still used today. This apparatus was made by British Oxygen Co. Limited. It was carried in a leather box known as a “Queen Charlotte” case. The portable box let it be used both in the hospital and during home births. This particular model was used between the 1940s and the 1960s.
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Glossary: anaesthetic machine
An agent that causes insensitivity to pain. Applied to either the whole body (general anaesthetic) or a particular area or region (local anaesthetic).
A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.