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Anderson-type obstetrical forceps, United Kingdom, 1901-1930

Obstetrical forceps grip the baby’s head during difficult childbirths. Many variations appeared from the 1700s. C L Anderson (1843-1900) invented this type of forceps in 1879 drawing on several contemporary designs. In Anderson’s version, the blades can be separated and inserted into the body one at a time or used together. The finger ring improves grip and lengthens the handle. Forceps made from nickel-plated steel could be sterilised without rusting. They were made by Reynolds and Branson Ltd.

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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 forceps

An instrument used to assist the delivery of a foetus, usually during a birth where complications have developed. Numerous variations have been developed over time. The fundamental design has two separate looped blades with handles. These interlock to form a grasping instrument.