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Tracheotomy set, England, 1870-1901

Tracheotomy is where a cut is made in the windpipe so a tube can be inserted to help the patient breathe. The procedure is carried out to prevent any further damage to the windpipe from disease or injury. Today, tracheotomy is used if the patient is on a ventilator for a long time. The kit contains all the instruments needed to carry out the procedure, including scalpels, tenaculum and hooks. It also contains different sized instruments to help place tubes in a child’s or adult’s windpipe.

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Glossary: tenaculum

An instrument consisting of a fine, sharp hook attached to a handle, and used mainly for taking up arteries, and the like

Glossary: trachea

The windpipe: the part of the air passage between the larynx and the main bronchi.

Glossary: tracheotomy set

used to perform tracheotomy

Glossary: scalpel

A small thin sharp blade used by surgeons.

Glossary: tracheotomy

A surgical procedure to make an opening directly into the windpipe.