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Incisions Gown I

Fleming, Karen and McLachlan, John (2008) Incisions Gown I. [Artefact]

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Exhibited at Seamless, Boston Science Museum, Jan 2008. ‘Incisions Gown’ is a garment giving medical students information on where operation incisions are made and a sense of the meaning of operations for the patient . The Incisions Gown was developed by artist Karen Fleming from the University of Ulster and scientist John McLachlan from Durham University. It is worn and studied by medical students in their training to enhance their technical and emotional understanding of what will happen to their patients on the operating table. It could also improve communication between surgeons and patients and has used in public exhibitions .“Incisions gown” is shaped like the familiar surgical gown but has zippers on major surgical incision sites named on the cloth –‘Median thoracotomy’ (heart operations); Pfannenstiel incision (hysterectomy and some gynaecological operations) and so on, alongside laparoscopic and peritoneal catheter insertion points. Unzipping the incisions reveals deeper layers corresponding to sequential muscle and tissue layers. The silk and rubber echo the texture of human muscles and flesh making it a unique tool for teaching medical students. In current medical training, traditional hard plastic models of the human body are generally used both as teaching aids and in explaining procedures to patients. Although they can be used to show areas of the body and where incisions will be made they are not able to convey the emotional impact that an operation inevitably has. Medical lead Professor John McLachlan, Associate Dean in Durham University's School for Health, explains “Current anatomical teaching aids describe, but they don’t evoke: they take no account of emotional involvement, or the feel of the material. The ‘desensitisation’ of medical and health care students to the body has long been seen as a desirable outcome of current modes of medical training. But desensitisation also brings with it the risk of objectifying the body.” This is part of a project funded by Wellcome Trust .

Item Type:Artefact
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment > Belfast School of Art
Research Institutes and Groups:Art and Design Research Institute > Creative Ecologies
Art and Design Research Institute
Date:January 2008
ID Code:3658
Deposited By: Professor Karen Fleming
Deposited On:17 Dec 2009 12:22
Last Modified:15 Jun 2011 10:09

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