Instruments used in general medicine

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Instrument Uses
Bandage material used to support a medical dressing or injured body part
Bedpan for patients who are unconscious or too weak to sit up or walk to the toilet to defecate
Cannula to create a permanent pathway to a vein (or artery) for the purpose of repeated injections or infusion of intravenous fluids
Catheter to drain and collect urine directly from the bladder (primary use) also to act as a makeshift oxygen tube etc.
Crocodile forceps to remove foreign bodies from ear or nasal cavities.
Electrocardiograph machine to record the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time[1]
Enema equipment to inject fluid into the lower bowel for several purposes, most frequently for relieving constipation
Endoscope to look inside the gastrointestinal tract, used mainly in surgery or by surgical consultants
External cardioverter / Defibrillator to correct arrhythmias of the heart[2]
Gas cylinder as a supply of oxygen, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, etc.
Gauze sponge to absorb blood and other fluids as well as clean wounds
Glucose monitor to measure concentration of glucose in blood
Haemodialysis machine to remove toxic materials from the blood that are generally removed by the kidneys; used in case of kidney failure[3]
Hypodermic needle / Syringe for injections and aspiration of blood or fluid from the body
Infection control equipment as in gloves, gowns, bonnets, shoe covers, face shields, goggles, and surgical masks for preventing nosocomial or healthcare-associated infection
Instrument sterilizer to sterilize instruments in absence of an autoclave
Kidney dish as a tray for instruments, gauze, tissue, etc.
Measuring tape for length, height, head circumference and girth measurements
Medical halogen penlight to see into the eye, natural orifices, etc. and to test for pupillary light reflex, etc.
Medical ultrasound to create an image of internal body structures
Nasogastric tube for nasogastric suction or the introduction of food or drugs into the body
Nebulizer to produce aerosols of drugs to be administered by respiratory route
Ophthalmoscope to look at the retina
Otoscope to look into the external ear cavity
Oxygen mask and tubes to deliver gases to the mouth/nostrils to assist in oxygen intake or to administer aerosolized or gaseous drugs
Pipette or dropper to measure out doses of liquid, specially in children
Proctoscope to look inside the anal canal and lower part of the rectum
Radiography to view internal body structures
Reflex hammer to test motor reflexes of the body
Sphygmomanometer to measure the patient's blood pressure
Stethoscope to hear sounds from movements within the body like heart beats, intestinal movement, breath sounds, etc.
Suction device to suck up blood or secretions
Surgical scissors used for dissecting or cutting
Thermometer to record body temperature
Tongue depressor for use in oral examination
Transfusion kit to transfuse blood and blood products
Tuning fork to test for deafness and to categorize it
Ventilator to assist or carry out the mechanical act of inspiration and expiration so the non-respiring patient can do so; a common component of "life support"
Wartenberg wheel for neurological use
Watch / Stopwatch for recording rates like heart rate, respiratory rate, etc.; for certain hearing tests.
Weighing scale to measure weight

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  1. ^ Khandpur 2020, pp. 563–571.
  2. ^ Khandpur 2020, pp. 497–501.
  3. ^ Khandpur 2020, pp. 742–749.


  • Khandpur, RS (2020). Compendium of Biomedical Instrumentation. United Kingdom: Wiley. ISBN 9781119288121. Retrieved 19 February 2024.