Draeger Inhalation Therapy Unit

WLMD ID: almn
Founded in 1889, Drägerwerk AG has always been the primary manufacturer of anesthesia machines in Germany, and has long been one of the most important in the world.  The company made anesthesia and resuscitation equipment for German military use in both World Wars.  “Sauerstoff-Behandlungsgerät für Sanitätseinheiten,” stenciled on the outside of this case, roughly translates as ‘Oxygen treatment device for medical units’. Dated 1938, this oxygen kit was made to administer oxygen to one or two people at a time. These kits were housed in sturdy wooden cases constructed for easy transportation and storage. The main unit, consisting of a pressure gauge, a flow rate gauge, connection ports and control valves, could be removed from the case. The oxygen cylinder was stored separately. Accompanying equipment included two rubber reservoir bags, two masks, two headbands, two mouthpieces, tubing, a wrench and an instruction manual. All of the pieces could be secured within the case with specially made clips, pockets and brackets. Anesthesiologist Ralph M. Tovell, MD (1901-1967) obtained this device while serving in the U.S. Army. Dr. Tovell was the senior anesthesiology consultant in Europe from approximately September, 1942 to July, 1945.

Catalog Record: Draeger Inhalation Therapy Unit

Access Key: almn
Accession No.: 2008-01-03-1 D

Title: Sauerstoff-Behandlungsgerät für Sanitätseinheiten / Draeger.

Corporate Author: Draeger.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Draeger inhalation therapy apparatus.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Oxygen treatment device for medical units.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Draeger inhalation therapy unit.

Publisher: [Lübeck?] : Draeger, 1938.

Physical Descript: 1 respiratory apparatus : metals, wood, rubber, glass, plastics ; 19.5 x 33.5 x 28.5 cm.

Subject: Respiratory Therapy – instrumentation.
Subject: Oxygen – instrumentation.
Subject: World War II.
Subject: Military Medicine – history – Germany.

Note Type: General
Notes: The date for the possible year of manufacture of this apparatus is based on
the date printed on the inside of the lid of the case. The date range could
change if documentation, or expert opinion, indicates that it should be
corrected.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Dräger-Sauerstoff-Behandlungsgerät für Sanitätseinheiten. Lubeck: Dragerwerk;
1938. Anweisung MJ 1a, 11 Ausgabe.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Obituary: R.M. Tovell. Anaesthesia. April, 1967;22(2):362-363.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Tovell RM Anesthesia. In: Carter BN, ed. Surgey in World War II: Activities
of Surgical Consultants. Vol 2. Washington D.C., Office of the Surgeon
General, Department of the Army; 1964:582-621. https://history.amedd.army.
mil/booksdocs/wwii/actvssurgconvol2/chapter10.htm. Accessed March 16, 2015.

Note Type: Physical Description
Notes: One wooden case, painted green; The top is marked with a red cross and the
following text, “Sauerstoff- [new line] Behandlungsgerät [new line] für [new
line] Sanitätseinheiten”; The top is hinged to the base in back and has two
inset latches in front; On the right side of the case is an inset handle;
Attached to the inside on the lid are two green rubber oronasal masks with
non-rebreathing valves; Also attached to the inside of the lid are two
mouthpieces; Two brackets attached to the inside of the lid held the
instruction booklet; Marked on the inside of the lid between the two masks is
the DRAEGER logo and the the date, “1938”; A plate is affixed to the inner
side of the lid in the lower left corner and is marked with, “Nichts ölen
[new line] odor fetten [new line] Explosions gefahr!”; A large wrench is
supported inside the box on the back wall; A unit with two pressure gages and
metal tubing, with connections for the oxygen source and tubing for one or
two patients, is supported upright inside the box but can be removed from the
box; Two flexible, spiral metal tubes are connected to the unit; The spiral
tubes measure approximately 124 cm in length; The gauge for the oxygen
cylinder is fixed right behind the gauge for controlling the flow; The gauge
for the oxygen cylinder is marked with, “Druckinder” above the center and,
“Sauerstoffflasche [new line] kg/cm² [new line] Draeger” below the center;
This gauge is marked from 0 to 250 with four numbered increments in between
(50, 100, 150, 200); The gauge for the flow of oxygen to the patient is
marked, “Gelieferte [new line] Sauerstoffmenge” above the center, and Liter
in der [new line] Minute” below the center; In front of the oxygen flow gauge
is a turn valve, and on the metal tubing on each side of the gauge are
adjusting knobs; Inside the box, affixed to each is a black metal pocket;
These pockets may be to hold the accompanying black headband and straps for
holding the oronasal masks in place on the patients’ faces.

Note Type: Reproduction
Notes: Photographed by Mr. Steve Donisch November 12, 2014.

Note Type: Historical
Notes: “Sauerstoff-Behandlungsgerät für Sanitätseinheiten,” stenciled on the
outside of this case, roughly translates to ‘Oxygen treatment device for
medical units’. Dated 1938, this oxygen kit was made to administer oxygen to
one or two people at a time.

These kits were housed in sturdy wooden cases constructed for easy
transportation and storage. The main unit, consisting of a pressure gauge, a
flow rate gauge, connection ports and control valves, could be removed from
the case. The oxygen cylinder was stored separately. Accompanying equipment
included two rubber reservoir bags, two masks, two headbands, two mouthpieces
tubing, a wrench and an instruction manual. All of the pieces could be
secured within the case with specially made clips, pockets and brackets. The
manufacturer was Draeger of Lübeck, Germany, a major producer of medical
equipment, including anesthesia machines.

Anesthesiologist Ralph M. Tovell, MD (1901-1967) aquired this device while
serving in the U.S. Army. Dr. Tovell was the senior anesthesiology consultant
in Europe from approximately September, 1942 to July, 1945.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Defalque RJ, Wright AJ. Anesthesia in the Wehrmacht (1939-1945). In: Fink BR,
ed. The History of Anesthesia: Third International Symposium. Park Ridge,
Illinois: Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology; 1992:143-146.

Note Type: Exhibition
Notes: Exhibited at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, October, 2014.