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Hypodermic syringe, England, 1855-1865

Hypodermic syringes are used to give treatments as injections under the skin. An Irishman, Frenchman and a Scot contributed to the invention. Francis Rynd (1801-1861) invented the hollow needle in 1844. Charles Pravaz (1791-1853) and Alexander Wood (1817-1884) each invented the syringe independently in the early 1850s. Wood introduced the use of the syringe for administering drugs such as morphine, a pain reliever. This syringe was made by Coxeter & Son.

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    Glossary: hypodermic syringe

    A syringe is a simple piston pump consisting of a plunger that fits tightly in a tube. The plunger can be pulled and pushed along inside a cylindrical tube (the barrel), allowing the syringe to take in and expel a liquid or gas through an orifice at the open end of the tube. In modern medicine, a syringe is often fitted with a hypodermic needle to create a hypodermic syringe which is most commonly used for injecting materials directly into the bloodstream.

    Glossary: morphine

    A painkilling drug derived from opium. Morphine is used in hospitals around the world due to its relative lack of side effects.