ECG apparatus used on King George VI (c.1951)

This ECG apparatus can be seen in The Anaesthesia Heritage Centre and Museum in London. It was used to monitor King George VI's heart during the pneumonectomy he underwent on 23 September 1951. The surgeon was Clement Price Thomas and the anaesthesists Robert Machray and Cyrill Scurr, all of the Westminster Hospital. The King made an uneventful recovery, and recorded a Christmas message to the nation. He was found dead in bed on the morning of 5th February 1952. One of the difficulties encountered by Dr Scurr (who donated the apparatus to the Museum) when he attached the apparatus to the King was the appearance on the oscilloscope trace of 'mains interference'. He was obliged to connect a wire from the box to a cold water tap in a nearby room to obtain a useful ECG record1.

  • Photos by ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#ihgroB acuL (August 2011), courtesy of Trish Willis, Heritage and Records Manager of AAGBI

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