This hand-shaped piece of heavy, 1/8" thick lead sheet is meant to be used in situations where a doctor or technician has to reach under an x-ray machine or other radiation source while it's on, perhaps to manipulate a patient or adjust something. What I don't understand is why the fingers are cut out individually. They are far too stiff to move or bend in any way while in use, so you would have to keep your fingers carefully aligned with the lead ones. Possibly they are meant to be bent around to facilitate this alignment, but why not just have more of a paddle than a detailed hand shape?
I'm told by a radiologist that the modern practice is to wear a flexible lead-impregnated glove instead, which seems far more sensible.
Source: eBay seller surginstruments
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 March, 2007
Text Updated: 12 March, 2007
Sample Group: Medical