The Cambridge Branch of CAMRA added a further £25 to the £150 raised at the dwyle flunking extravaganza in June which enabled Papworth Hospital to buy a pair of alligator biopsy forceps for its X-ray department. For the curious, we can do no better than reproduce the manufacturer's description of this instrument.
"Alligator forceps are used in conjunction with a Fibreoptic
Bronchoscope for the purpose of taking biopsies. The forceps are
threaded down the 'scope', once it is in position, and the biopsy
(i.e. tissue cut from the living body) is taken from the bronchial
tree. The procedure is carried out under X-ray screening control to
enable correct alignment of the forceps within the lung. The forceps
are so called because they act like the jaws of an alligator or
crocodile - they open and 'swallow up' a piece of tissue which is
then used for histological diagnosis."
The Branch Secretary has a drawing of the device in his file for those with any curiosity left. It was thought that some sort of ceremony might be held at the White Swan, Conington, but it is gratifying to know that the forceps are already being put to good use.
ALE Monthly No. 211 October 1981
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Cambridge & District CAMRA