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Alexander Wood


1817 - 1884

Physician, who developed the hypodermic syringe. From the late 1830s, Wood practised in the New Town of Edinburgh. In 1853, he experimented with the use of a hollow needle for the more effective subcutaneous administration of morphine in the treatment of neuralgia. He described his invention in a paper entitled 'A New Method for Treating Neuralgia by the Direct Application of Opiates to Painful Points' in the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal (1855). However, it was left to others, such as Charles Hunter of London, to develop the technique for other drugs and diseases.

In 1850, Wood was appointed Secretary to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. He also served as President of this institution.


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