Pathology Spotlight: Brain Aneurysm

Our Human Remains Conservator takes a look at Brain Aneurysms in our latest Pathology Spotlight blog.   The walls of our arteries and veins are composed of three layers,  with varying amounts of elasticity to respond to the pulses of blood that come from the heart’s regular beating. Sometimes areas of the wall can become thin…

The Veiled Child

Our Human Remains Conservator takes a look at the superstitions surrounding a Baby’s’ Caul.

Pathology Spotlight: Onychogryphosis

Onychogryphosis, or Ram’s Horn Nail, is a condition in which there is abnormal nail growth. It causes the nail to become very overgrown, often resembling a ram’s horn, as the name suggests. While it can affect any nail of the fingers and toes, it is most commonly seen in big toe. There is no singular…

A Tale of Two Surgeons

Last week we put out a call for memorabilia and objects from women in surgery and the response so far has been encouraging. The following story from Mr Graham Fraser F.R.C.S. (Ed,Eng, C.) F.A.C.S. is a beautiful example of the personal experiences of women in surgery that we are looking to showcase. Graham Fraser was…

The good old days? – Evidence of a polluted history

Chris Henry, Director of Heritage, and Ken Donaldson, Senior Research Fellow at Surgeons’ Hall Museums, write about artefacts from the museum collections that reveal damage cause by urban air in previous centuries.  Most people, if asked, would be of the opinion that air pollution is worse now than in the past but, perhaps surprisingly, they…

Women, Medicine & The War Effort

This month hosts a series of anniversaries and commemorations that remind us about the important role some pioneering women played in pathing the way for the future of women in medicine. On the 18th November in 1870 a riot took place outside Surgeons Hall in protest of seven women sitting an anatomy exam. These women…

Pathology Spotlight – Metastatic sarcoma of the orbit

Sarcomas are a rare type of cancer that can develop almost anywhere in the body , because they arise in mesenchymal cells which occur all over the body– i.e. fat, cartilage, bone, muscle, vascular or the tissue in which blood cells arise. This specimen is  a metastatic sarcoma of the right orbit and the surrounding…

Pathology Spotlight – Simpson’s Forceps

Pathology Spotlight takes a look at obstetrical forceps used by Sir James Young Simpson. These forceps are applied on the fetal head to aid difficult deliveries. They are shaped to accommodate the temporary elongation of the fetal head as it moves through the birth canal. Over the course of his career, Simpson designed various improved…

Jack and the Shannon

In our final blog of the year, we look at a case of amputation instruments used by Alexander Jack during the early 1800s. Jack was an RCSEd Diplomate in 1801 and later ship’s surgeon aboard the HMS Shannon. These instruments are part of his personal surgery kit and were used by him during the battle between…

The Battle of the Barbers and the Leeches

The above title refers to the friendly rivalry between the Physicians and the Surgeons of Edinburgh for the annual Handicap event played by the Royal Colleges Golf Club. The inaugural match teed off in 1890 and continues to be held every May at Luffness New Golf Club. It was founded by, and first captained by…