The Museum of Medicine and Health : Sphygmograph

The Museum of Medicine and Health

<p style='text-align: justify;'>A sphygmograph is a device that was used for making a short paper recording of the pulse. This type of sphygmograph, known as a Mohamed sphygmograph, was developed by physician Dr. Frederick Akbar Mahomed (1849-84) in 1872, while he was still a medical student. The instrument produces a graphic record by tracing the pulsations onto a strip of ‘smoked’ paper. The pulsations from the radial artery are mechanically transmitted to a thin brass arm with a pointed tip that marks the pulse onto the paper. This could be varnished and saved as a permanent record. This instrument was an improvement on an earlier model manufactured by Bréguet in Paris.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Mahomed was ahead of his time, suggesting that low blood pressure prolonged life. He advocated systematic record keeping of the history of family health and disease in Britain, what he termed, ‘collective Investigation’. He died in November 1884 from typhoid fever.</p>

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