Nurse Botley's TB Needle
1961 - 1975
Equipment used by Pat Botley in her work at the Croydon Chest Clinic from 1961 to 1975. Pat was a Health Visitor and Clinic Sister specialising in the prevention of tuberculosis, then a common disease. TB generally attacks people's lungs and until the 1950s one way of treating it was to collapse infected lungs, a technique called artificial pneumothorax. Needles like these were used to inject "refills" of air every two weeks for at least two years. This gave the lung the chance to rest and heal. By the 1960s the BCG vaccination was available to protect against TB. The Heaf Gun was used with a special substance to test whether a person needed the BCG injection or not. Pat Botley had had TB herself in 1950 when she was training. The X-ray shows her left lung "collapsed".
needle: 32 x 105 x 15 mm; gun: 65 x 130 x 20 mm
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Museum of Croydon | Area 5 | Kiosk 4
Croydon Museum and Heritage Service