THE HISTORY OF THE INVENTION AND DEVELOP^ MENT OF THE STOMACH AND DUODENAL TUBES *

Abstract

UNLIKE many of our simpler medical and surgical instruments, mention of the stomach and duodenal tubes is not to be found in the classical writ-ings of the ancient Greek and Arabian physicians. The history of the duo-denal tube goes back only some 40 years while the somewhat uncertain origin of the stomach tube may be placed at about 144 years ago. Precursors of the stomach tube, however, were in common usage as early as the days of Imperial Rome. In the time of the Emperor Claudius, it was common practice at the end of a feast or banquet to serve an emetic, the " vomitiom,"22 with the dessert which when effective gave a sense of well-being and permitted the partakers to straightway begin another feast. The amount of emetic given seems to have varied considerably, for often as not it produced merely an uncomfort-able sense of nausea or an intractable vomiting even after the stomach be-came empty. Passing the finger into the posterior pharynx was another method quite commonly used by the Romans. A more refined means o

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oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.906.3512Last time updated on 11/1/2017

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