Historical information

Dr James (Jim) Villiers went to Vietnam as an anaesthetist with the Australian Surgical Team (civilian) during 1963. He used this bag for carry-on luggage. Despite assurances about the quality of resources available on arrival, he carried an essential part of the breathing circuit for an EMO vaporiser in his carry-on. The actual vaporiser was packed in his check-in luggage.

In 1963 the Vietnamese government sought training in Australia in anaesthetics for several medical technicians. Australia was not able to meet the request as anaesthesia training in Australia is restricted to qualified doctors.

Instead, the Dean of the Faculty of Anaesthetists at RACS suggested sending a team of anaesthetists to Vietnam to conduct training for technicians there. However, they requested a preliminary survey be undertaken in order to determine the abilities of the prospective trainees and establish contacts with medical authorities in Vietnam.

James (Jim) Villiers was one of the people who undertook the survey and made a report.

Training of Vietnamese medical technicians was undertaken using the Epstein MacIntosh Oxford Anaesthetic Apparatus (EMO). This equipment was robust, portable and relatively cheap, there are few moving parts for servicing, it requires only ether and air for operation.

Physical description

Brick-red vinyl bag with white Qantas branding including the flying kangaroo printed on both sides. The bag has a zipper opening and contains an anaesthetic apparatus mounted on a piece of wooden particle board. There are two black hoses, a white hose, a black plastic connector, a metal t-bar connect, a green resuscitation bag and black face mask.