Material and Medium: stainless steel and leather
Dimensions: Overall: 45 x 58 x 250mm (1 3/4 x 2 5/16 x 9 13/16in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: X1983.254
This is a syringe used for medical treatment. It is made of stainless steel and was manufactured in the 1980s.
An enema is the procedure of introducing liquids into the rectum and colon via the anus. The increasing volume of the liquid causes rapid expansion of the lower intestinal tract, often resulting in very uncomfortable bloating and cramping, and complete evacuation of the lower intestinal tract. Enemas can be carried out as treatment for medical conditions such as constipation, and as part of some alternative health therapies. They are also used to administer certain drugs and for rehydration therapy.
Enemas were once a favorite medical treatment of wealthy patients, especially in the Victorian period. As medical knowledge was fairly limited at the time, purging the body was a technique used to treat a wide variety of illness. Enemas were considered especially useful for the easing of stomach aches and constipation.