Name/TitleMetreurynter or Ribes Bag
About this objectA flat, triangular cloth bag made from a stiff orange coloured fabric. The cloth was likely natural with the surface was coated with a thin layer of rubber. There is a coned nozzle set inside the narrow opening of the bag which is fixed with a cloth band seal and set to one side of an angle of circa thirty degrees.
A rubber coated inflatable bag that was used for stimulation of the cervix to induce labour. The bag was inserted cervical forceps into neck of womb then inflated water. A flexible tube with a small tap at the end would habe been attached to the nozzle cone to allow the pouring of warm fluid into the bag while in situe. Another use of the bag was to compress the lining of the uterus in cases of uterine haemorrhage. The bag was invented in 1887 by Dr Champetier De Ribes, obstetrician to the Hotel Dieu Hospital, Paris and has eveolved only slightly over the centuries. Dr Edward G. Waters of the Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital, Jersey City, N J, USA, in 1998 wrote an article 'The dilating bag in obstetrics, Its use, abuse and hazards' where he explains the evolution of use of the Ribes bag: "Medical induction of labor is successful in a sufficient majority of instances to warrant its trial when the need is evident. When medical induction fails, recourse must be made to mechanical means... The intrauterine insertion of the dilating bag was used as the Voorhees 'modification of the Champetier de Ribes'... An early form was devised by Braun in 1851 and Champetier de Ribes described his in 1888, giving considerable impetus to its use. Dangers and defects inherent in the mechanical construction of bags in use were not overcome until Voorhees modified the de Ribes' bag in 1897 and published in 1913 experiences in 634 inductions at Sloan Hospital for Women. Since then, the bag has had wide usage, judging from published reports, but there seems to be a marked recession in recent years, even at Sloan." [Ref: In the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, October 1998 AJOG, Volume 36, Issue 4, Pages 639-647].
MakerDr Champetier de Ribes
Maker RoleDesigner of the instrument
Date MadeCirca 1900
Medium and MaterialsCotton drill and tape, rubber
Subject and Association KeywordsObstetrics
Object TypeRibes Bag
Copyright LicenceAll rights reserved