Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Forceps. There are several forms of instrument, with widely different uses, employed in medical practice to which the term forceps is applied. A few of these may be alluded to. For instance, the extraction forceps of the dentist are of varying shapes, in accordance with the particular tooth for which each is designed; pressure forceps are employed in controlling bleeding by being applied so as to compress the tissues, as they are divided by the knife, in the performance of operations; bone forceps are furnished with cutting edges and modelled so as to afford considerable leverage, adapting them for dividing bone; again, there are forceps shaped so as to be used for passing through the nasal passages and into the pharynx, laryngeal forceps, tracheotomy forceps, and many others. Midwifery forceps, which are employed to facilitate the delivery of the head of the child in cases of difficult labour, were first invented by Paul Chamberlen in the 17th century. The discovery was kept a secret for many years - indeed, even in the middle of last century knowledge concerning the new method was confined to a few, and w-as jealously guarded by them. The construction of the midwifery forceps has been considerably improved during the present century, and great advances have been made in the science of their application.