Due to prevalence of syphilis in the 19th and early 20th century the incidence of 'general paralysis of the insane' (GPI) was very common. Spinal lumbar puncture was a routine test for any patient in asylums considered to have GPI. Fluid extracted from spine & tested for syphilis spirochetes. Also known as "Vienna model".Used in Victorian mental health hospital circa 1930.

Physical Description

Dattner's spinal needle is hollow with scalpel-type point and a tubular hilt with open bulb-shaped head. This fits into a very fine tubular sheath which also has a scalpel point. When fully inserted the needle extends 2cm beyond the end of the sheath. Sheath has a rounded oblong-shaped, ridged handgrip, above which the tube widens to 5mm. There is a small screw with button-shaped handle to lock the needle in place. Made of stain steel.


Example of surgical equipment used in Victorian mental health hospitals

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