Tubunic Ampoules Tin

During the Second World War, British aircraft were issued with a small first aid kit to treat aircrew with if the aircraft got hit. Included in this first aid kit was a pair of morphine syrettes, which in turn were carried in a small metal tin to prevent them from being damaged:

This tin was sealed with a small piece of wire and a lead seal, passed through the two holes in the top and side of the tin. The tins can be found coloured both silver and gold as in this example. Both variations are marked on the top with the Air Ministry initials and crown logo and the term ‘tubunic ampoules’:

‘Tubunic’ seems to have been a brand name for a type of morphine and one source indicates that it was a mixture of morphine, papavarine and codeine. The tin hinges along its long axis to give access to the interior that originally held two syrettes, wrapped in cotton wool, and a pair of small labels to allow the casualties to be marked so that medics knew when they had been dosed:

There were a number of variants of the aircrew first aid kit, but in this period image the tin of Tubunic ampoules can be seen in the top left corner:

The use of tubunic ampoules can be seen in this report on the crash of an aircraft from February 1942:

Meanwhile another call had been received to attend to another casualty higher up the road (towards the sites). F/O Glaydon and myself proceeded to the casualty, finding Sergeant Wilson lying by the roadside. He received a tubunic ampoule injection, was covered with a blanket and the ambulance summoned. Sergeant Wilson was duly loaded and the ambulance dispatched to sick quarters with a minimum of delay.

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