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Leatherette injection kit

This first aid kit contains a number of ampoules filled with liquid. Each coloured glass corresponds to a different liquid so they were easy to identify in an emergency. The blue glass contains caffeine, which was believed to relieve pain. The white glass contains ether, a popular anaesthetic. ‘Ergotine’ in the yellow ampoule was used to control heavy bleeding. The camphorated oil was used to help soothe bruises, aches and pains. All the liquids were to be given by injection. Unfortunately the syringe is missing, along with the purple ampoule of cocaine used as a local anaesthetic.

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    Glossary: first aid kit

    A kit designed to give help to an injured person until proper medical treatment is available

    Glossary: ampoule

    A sealed glass or plastic capsule containing one dose of a drug in the form of a sterile solution for injection.

    Glossary: caffeine

    A mild stimulant that is found in tea and coffee. It is often included, in small doses, in pain relief preparations, and is claimed to increase its effects.

    Glossary: anaesthetic

    An agent that causes insensitivity to pain. Applied to either the whole body (general anaesthetic) or a particular area or region (local anaesthetic).

    Glossary: syringe

    An instrument used for injecting or withdrawing fluids. The open end of the syringe may be fitted with a hypodermic needle for injection into the bloodstream.

    Glossary: ether

    A volatile liquid (resulting from the action of sulphuric acid upon alcohol) formerly used as an anaesthetic. Ether was usually inhaled.

    Glossary: local anaesthetic

    A drug that reduces or removes sensations from one area of the body.

    Glossary: cocaine

    White, crystalline powder extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. Once used as a local anaesthetic, it is now an illegal drug. It is habit-forming and harmful to the body.