Thomas’ Cranial Perforator

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A rare obstetric instrument used to perforate the foetal skull in cases of obstructive labour. The screw shaped point was rotated with pressure against the skull so to drill through the periostium. The instrument also has a concealed knife.

Once the cranium had been perforated the knife would cut away the relatively soft bone allowing complete collapse of the cranium and delivery of the foetus. Fully functional and in excellent condition but with some loss of the plating. The metal handle dates the piece to the last 1/2 of the 19th century but the steel handle which operates the knife is crosshatched in an earlier style.

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