Labat Spinal Outfit

WLMD ID: akxc

Dr. Gaston Labat (1876-1934) was born on the island of Mahe, in the Seychelles, and was educated in Durban, South Africa and in Mauritius, where he worked in his brother-in-law's chemist shop (a pharmacy). He then went to France to complete his education, earning a degree in medicine in 1920. While still a medical student, he became an assistant to the surgeon Dr. Victor Pauchet (1869-1936), and was a co-author of the third edition of Pauchet's textbook on regional anesthesia. Dr. Labat immigrated to the U.S. in 1920, and worked for the Mayo Clinic for one year before practicing in New York City.

He published his own classic textbook, Regional Anesthesia, Its Technic and Clinical Application, in 1922. It introduced the Labat Regional Anesthesia Outfit, containing a syringe and needles specifically designed for this use. It was made by the Anglo-French Drug Company of New York. The following year he founded the American Society for Regional Anesthesia (ASRA). ASRA grew to become the leading professional organization for the sub-specialties of regional anesthesia and pain medicine. Each year, ASRA presents the Labat Award for an outstanding contribution to one of these fields.

Catalog Record: Labat Spinal Outfit A34.Labat Spinal Outfit

Access Key: akxc

Accession No.: 1979-02-12-1 A

Title: Labat outfit for general surgery / [designed by Gaston Labat].

Author: Labat, Gaston, 1876-1934.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Labat spinal outfit.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Labat’s outfit for inducing regional anesthesia.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Dr. Gaston Labat’s syringes and needles for local, regional and spinal anesthesia.

Publisher: “Made in France” ; New York : Anglo French Drug Co., [between 1920 and 1940?].

Physical Description: 1 syringe & needle kit ; metals, glass ; 3.5 x 16 x 10.5 cm.

Subject: Anesthesia, Conduction – instrumentation.
Subject: Anesthesia, Regional – instrumentation.
Subject: Anesthesia, Spinal – instrumentation.
Subject: Labat, Gaston, 1876-1934.

Web Link:

Note Type: General
Notes: The early year in the date range for the possible year of manufacture is an estimate based on the earliest publication found in which the Labat Outfit is mentioned. It is an advertisement at the end of volume 35 of Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics (1922). The end date is a rough estimate. The date range could change if documentation indicates that it should be corrected.

Note Type: General
Notes: The alternate titles come from Dr. Labats textbook as well as advertisements.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Brown DL, Winnie AP. Biography of Louis Gaston Labat, M.D. Reg Anesth. 1992;17(5):249-262.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Côté AV, Vachon CA, Horlocker TT, Bacon DR. From Victor Pauchet to Gaston Labat: the transformation of regional anesthesia from a surgeon’s practice to the physician anesthesiologist. Anesth Analg. 2003;96(4):1193-1200. Accessed January 16, 2015.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Dr. Gaston Labat’s syringes and needles for local, regional and spinal anesthesia [advertisement]. Surg Gynecol Obstet. December, 1922;35:page 35 of ads.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Labat G. Regional Anesthesia: Its Technic and Clinical Application. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company; 1922:15-23. Accessed January 16, 2015.

Note Type: Physical Description
Notes: One kit for spinal anesthesia contained in a stainless steel box with a telescoping lid; The measurement above represents the size of the box; Stamped into the center top of the tray is, “LABAT OUTFIT [new line] FOR GENERAL SURGERY”; Stamped in the upper left of the top of the lid, in quotes, is “MADE IN FRANCE”; Marked in the lower right of the top of the lid is “ANGLO FRENCH DRUG CO NEW-YORK’; A tray with slots for each piece of the kit sits inside the box; A handle is attached to the tray so that the try may be lifted out of the box; The kit includes two syringes; One is a 10 cc glass syringe with ends of stainless steel, and a stainless steel plunger; The glass tube is marked in .5 cc increments, with whole numbers indicated from 0 to 8; Marked on the tube in faint cursive lettering is, “A. F. D. Paris” and “Dr Labat”; The tube and plunger are held next to each other in the kit; The second syringe is 2 cc and all glass; This syringe is marked in .1 cc increments with whole numbers indicated from 0 to 2; Also marked on the 2 cc syringe in cursive font is, “A. F. D. Paris”; A long ovoid tray for the needles and their sleeves sits on one side of the larger tray; Four needles with brass handles are paired with stainless steel sleeves; From largest to smallest they are labeled, “120.10”, “80.11”, “80.8”, and “50.7”; There is one brass handle without a needle, marked “20.5”, and one unpaired sleeve, which seems to be for a needles smaller than 20.5; Each brass handle is also marked with, “A.F.D.”, “FRANCE”.

Note Type: Reproduction
Notes: Photographed by Mr. Steve Donisch September 18, 2013.

Note Type: Acquisition
Notes: Donated to the WLM by Paul J. Campanella, MD.

Note Type: Historical
Notes: This kit was devise by Dr. Louis Gaston Labat (1876-1934), an influential leader and advocate of regional anesthesia, and a founder of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia.

Introduced in the early 1920s, the kit contained two syringes and ten specialized needles of varying sizes for use in the administration of local, regional and spinal anesthesia. This kind of anesthesia involves numbing only parts of the body using medications called ‘local anesthetics.’ The kit and its components were all metal and glass so that it was easy to sterilize for reuse.

During the last two years of Gaston Labat’s medical studies, he was a student and assistant of the French surgeon and regional anesthesia authority, Victor Pauchet (1869-1936). Pauchet authored four editions of a book entitled L’Anesthesie Regionale. Labat was a co-author of the third edition.

Dr. Labat emigrated from Paris to Rochester, Minnesota in September of 1920 to teach regional anesthesia at the Mayo Clinic. During his year at Mayo, he also began to work on his own textbook, Regional Anesthesia: Its Technic and Clinical Application, the first edition of which was published in 1922. It quickly became an essential text for U.S. practitioners of regional anesthesia.

In October of 1921, Labat moved to New York City where he taught and practiced at New York University and Belleview Hospital for the remainder of his career. A second edition of his text was published in 1928. He died in 1934 before completing a third.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Bacon DR. Gaston Labat, John Lundy, Emery Rovenstine, and the Mayo Clinic: the spread of Regioal Anesthesia in America between the World Wars. J Clin Anesth. 2002;14(4):315-320.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Labat G. A new outfit for local and regional anesthesia in dental and oral surgery. Int J Orthod Oral Surg Radiogr. October, 1925;11(10:959-963.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Vachon CA, Bacon DR, Rose SH. Gaston Labat’s Regional Anesthesia: the missing years. Anesth Analg. 2008;107(4):1371-1375. Accessed January 16, 2015.

Note Type: Exhibition
Notes: Displayed in the Park Ridge ASA Building; Selected for the WLM website, and the Schaumburg ASA building display (noted April 2014).