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Irrigation Syringe

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This syringe was used to irrigate, or moisten, wounds or to pull liquids from a catheter, a tube inserted into the body. The syringe has a cork plunger to give it a seal. Cork was widely used before other materials were available to create an airtight but flexible seal. It could be sterilized, although that somewhat limited its lifespan. Glass, too, was extremely useful in a hospital environment: it was strong, clear, and did not corrode like metal instruments. This instrument was used at the Franklin County Public Hospital in the early 1900s. The hospital also contained a nurse training school.


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