I have had may share of personal experiences with medical technology. Some were painful, some humiliating, and some downright scary. But looking at a humorous list from ViralNova (www.viralnova.com) of 15 vintage medical devices, I’m reminded of how far medical innovation has come. Suddenly the devices I’ve been poked and prodded with over the years don’t seem so bad.
This is ViralNova’s list of crazy ancient medical devices, in reverse order:
- Rectal dilators: Without diving directly into the deep end of TMI, let’s just say I do have some medically-relevant experience with the modern version of these devices. As unpleasant as it is, the current generation of dilators are a cakewalk compared to these freaky things.
- Venereal disease kit: This one is particularly cringe-worthy when you consider the ever-so-tiny access point through which they were supposed to go. The modern equivalent of these devices would probably be an intrauterine access balloon catheter. Still not the most enjoyable procedure to endure, but a heck of a lot less invasive.
- Vintage syringe kit: If you want to see how fast I can run, just try getting near me with one of these humongous needles. I’ll never complain about getting blood drawn again, having seen the predecessor device!
- Blood-letting device: Similar to the vintage syringe kit, I think I’d rather die than allow a device like that to prick my skin.
- Domestic enema machine: This one is so drastically different from the enema delivery methods of today, it simply raises too many questions.
- 17th century amputation saw: This shiny thing looks like it belongs in a museum. It’s just too darn pretty to imagine it ever being used to cut off a limb.
- Vibra-Finger: Yeah, sure it was used to “massage the gums.”
- Portable operating chair from WWII era: Looks more like the kind of chair you sit in, not voluntarily, after finishing your last meal.
- Surgical saw from the 1930s: Belongs in a horror movie, not the operating room.
- Anti-masturbation cod piece. Um, I’m going to plead the Fifth Amendment here.
- Mouth gag/stretcher from the 1930s. And you thought your dentist was cruel.
- Nose-shaping device: Apparently doing stupid things in the name of aesthetics is nothing new.
- French, 16th century bullet extractor. They had to use something I suppose.
- Portable respirator for polio: Nothing says you have a viral disease like a vacuum to the chest.
- Ice cube mask: According to ViralNova, these were intended to cure hangovers. I can’t decide which is worse, wearing a dozen or so ice cubes on your face or dumping a bucket of ice water over your head and posting a video of the evidence on social network sites. At least the latter is for a charitable cause.