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Model of a Morell-type tourniquet, London, England, 1925-1935

This is one of the first examples of a tourniquet. Morell’s simple cord and wooden handle was used on the battlefield in Besançon, France, in 1674 during the Franco-Dutch War. The tourniquet was used to stop heavy bleeding. The cord is placed around the injured leg or arm and the wooden handle turned to tighten the cord. This copy was made by the Wellcome Workshops so it could be displayed in the Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine.

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    Glossary: amputation

    Removal of part of, or a whole limb by surgery. Used to control pain or the spread of disease in the affected limb.

    Glossary: tourniquet

    Designed to compress the blood vessels of a limb. It consists of a bandage, pad and screw. By varying the tightness of the tourniquet, it is possible to control the circulation of blood for a short time.