Part III – Medical Supplies and Equipment Trivia

In Part three of our series on medical supplies and equipment trivia is sure to get your blood pressure up.

Question: Who invented the first medical equipment to measure blood pressure equipment that we see in use today?
Answer: Scipione Riva-Rocci. In 1896 Riva-Rocci introduced the first blood pressure cuff which was 5 centimeters wide and could be inflated to compress the brachial artery against the bone. The palpation of the pulse was used to determine the blood pressure. Later discoveries led to the use of stethoscope and a cuff to determine the systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

Question: What is the real name of the equipment used to measure blood pressure in humans today?
Answer: The sphygmomanometer. According to Wikipedia, “The word comes from the Greek “sphygmos (pulse), plus the scientific term manometer (pressure meter).”

Question:Who invented Velcro?
Answer: George de Mestral. As we all know Velcro can is used to fasten two pieces of cloth together and has both medical and non-medical applications. In 1948 de Mestral, went on a hike in the woods with his dog in the Swiss countryside. When he returned home, he noticed that both he and his dog were covered in burrs. This intrigued him so much that he used a microscope to see just how this was possible. He discovered that the burrs had small “hooks”, and that these hook grabbed onto the tiny loops in the fabric of his pants. This led him to the idea of making one material with small hooks and the other material with tiny loops – which de Mestral named Velcro.

In Part four we’ll wrap up our series on medical supplies and equipment trivia.

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