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Skey-type tourniquet, London, England, 1866-1927

This tourniquet was used to compress and control heavy bleeding during operations. It is composed of a flexible steel ring fitted with two pads, whose position can be adjusted by screws. This tourniquet could be used to compress a whole limb or a specific artery. Due to its design the pads were the only two points where pressure was applied, allowing the other arteries and veins to function as normal. Made by Arnold & Sons, this type of tourniquet was shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and was invented by Frederick Carpenter Skey (1798-1872), an English surgeon. It was not uncommon for surgeons to devise new instruments to help their work.

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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.