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Cephalotribe; obstetric tool, Geneva, Switzerland, 1750-1850

Three vicious-looking pronged hands comprise this steel cephalotribe. It is a skull-crushing instrument. Cephalotribes were used by obstetric physicians. These doctors assist at the birth of a baby. The instrument pierced and crushed the foetus head to extract it from the mother’s body. They were used as a last resort only after the foetus was dead. The foetus may have died during the pregnancy or during a difficult labour. This example was made by Swiss instrument maker Demaurex.

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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.

Glossary: obstetrical craniotomy forceps

No description.