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War Surgery and Medicine

General Hospital Laboratory Equipment

General Hospital Laboratory Equipment.

The laboratories of the General Hospitals in 2 NZEF were in the main furnished with standard RAMC equipment. This was well thought out and of good quality. It was designed to operate anywhere, and as kerosene was the fuel for incubators, sterilisers, etc., it was independent of electric light and gas, though when available these were, of course, used for heating and lighting. With the standard equipment, and using its boxes as benches and cupboards, it was possible to operate an efficient laboratory in a hospital tent, as, for example, 1 NZ General Hospital laboratory at Farsala in Greece. Criticism may be made of the rather cumbrous design of some of the larger laboratory pieces—e.g., the incubators, which could be better designed for transport. Other suggestions for improvement are:-


Provision of at least four microscopes for a hospital of 600 beds.


Provision of some sort of microscope lamp (? high-pressure mantle type, kerosene burning) for use when electricity is not available.


Provision of a better centrifuge (electric or hand).


Provision of better haematological apparatus-Haemoglobinometer, better quality counting chambers and pipettes.


Provision of a colorimeter (the MRC Grey Wedge Photometer could well be used) for biochemistry—this would enable the more usual standard biochemical methods to be used.

On a future occasion it might well be ascertained in advance what sort of laboratory equipment a General Hospital might expect at its destination overseas.