Historical information

Humidicribs are used to transport sick babies from small hospitals to major hospitals for specialist care. They work by maintaining normal body temperature and provide oxygen if needed during ambulance transit. Known by a variety of commercial names, earlier humidicribs were ones heated with water bottles. Not part of an ambulances standard equipment, humidicribs are kept in ambulance stations and carried if babies needed to be transported. In the early days before humidicribs came into use and when air ambulances did not exist, many more babies died during emergency transits than do today Manufactured by the Commonwealth Industrial Gases Limited (better known as CIG), Australian-made Port-O-Cot brand humidicribs came replaced timber home-made humidicribs. They had electrical heating and easy to control oxygen flow and humidity control equipment. CIG also noted that noted that: Once the baby has been placed inside, the cot need not be opened, all nursing operations being carried out through the iris armholes. Even though the baby is in complete isolation nursing is a straight forward matter… The iris armholes allow nurses to feed, weigh, take temperatures, change napkins or, in fact, carry out any procedures without changing or disturbing the atmosphere within the cot. Happily for ambulance officers and nurses, the new Port-O-Cots were also much lighter and easy to carry than their old timber ones!

Physical description

metal box with carry handles and Perspex opening top. Carry handles at each end.

Inscriptions & markings