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The Rynd Unit

Tallaght University Hospital’s refurbished phlebotomy service (GP & Consultant bloods), infusion and venous lounge has been named the Rynd Unit after the surgeon who invented the hypodermic needle in June 1844.

Mr. Francis Rynd who studied medicine in Trinity College Dublin and practised as a surgeon in the Meath Hospital, Dublin, performed the world’s first subcutaneous or hypodermic injection, essentially giving the patient a powerful local anaesthetic in her face.

The patient had suffered for years from neuralgia, such was the pain that she tried drinking a solution of morphine to kill the pain. When that failed Rynd placed the morphine directly under her skin.

The new technique was soon widely used to treat pain and was championed as “the greatest boon to medicine since the discovery of chloroform.” Florence Nightingale benefited from it herself during an illness and declared, “Nothing did me any good, but a curious little new-fangled operation of putting opium under the skin, which relieved [the pain] for 24 hours.”

The name was chosen following a competition to find a suitable name. The ‘Rynd Unit’ and was submitted by Chris Armstrong, Haematology SpR.