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Trilene inhaler, London, England, 1961-1970

The Central Midwives Board certified this inhaler. It was approved for use by midwives in 1955. The inhaler administered a drug called Trichloroethylene to mothers during labour. Trichloroethylene is known as Trilene. This type of inhaler was for pain relief. The patient inhaled the vapour just before each labour pain. Trilene was introduced as an anaesthetic agent in 1934. Its use in obstetrics has declined because portable inhalers delivering nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen have been developed. Nitrous oxide is pleasanter to inhale and has fewer side effects. The inhaler was made by Medical and Industrial Equipment Limited in London during the 1960s. The inhaler was still certified for use in 1974.

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    Glossary: inhaler

    A device for breathing in a drug in order to deliver it to the airways or lungs.

    Glossary: obstetrics

    A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.