Ancient Burr Hole Equipment

Last week, we visited the Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine at Université Paris Cité. The museum was very beautiful with lots of wood paneling and skylights. There were also quite a few paintings that depicted how medicine was conducted in the earlier centuries. The main part of the museum, however, was the medical equipment. A case of tools used for drilling burr holes in the skull can be seen in the picture above. Burr holes have been used for centuries to treat intracranial diseases and release pressure. In the past, it was believed that burr holes could rid people of evil spirits. Today, drilling burr holes is much more precise and requires MRI and CT imaging to ensure it is being done in the correct place. The technology is also much more advanced, so the drills only cut through bone and spare the brain tissue.

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