Schimmelbusch Mask

Accession #: 2009115

Description: Nickel plated mask with folding frame.

The Schimmelbusch Mask was originally developed for the safe administration of Chloroform vapour. It has a face flange that presents a deliberately poor seal to permit easy passage of air underneath it. In use it's frame would be covered with a single layer of cotton cloth. When used with the much less potent diethyl ether, the face seal had to be improved by interposing a fenestrated layer of Gamgee (cotton wool sandwiched between two layers of cotton gauze) between the face and the mask. Te covering was augmented to consist of typically 5 layers of cotton gauze. This permitted the assembly to act as a condenser humidifier which, when soaked with liquid ether retained sufficient exhaled heat to sustain adequate vapour concentration to induce and sustain surgical anaesthesia. The mask was also used for rapid induction with ethyl chloride and vinyl ether (Vinesthene). It should be noted that diethyl ether is highly flammable and the vapour, which is much heavier that air, could be ignited from a distand ignition source with lethal results.

contained in Doctor's Bag 2009110

Loaned to Welsh Assembly for Pierhead Building exhibition 20/01/10


Dimensions: 183 x 106 x 65 mm (open)

Acquired: 25/06/2009