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About the book

Michael_Harrison_profileAnaesthesia in 1950 was basic - ether and chloroform were still in use. Monitoring was, apart from the senses of sight, hearing, smell and touch, minimal. Over the next half century huge, unimaginable changes took place and many anaesthetists in various countries led the way.

These bibliographies highlight some of the British academic anaesthetists who did research during the fifty years prior to the millennium. Thirty-two individuals, who worked with many others to unravel the intricacies of physiology, pharmacology and techniques now associated with modern 21st century anaesthesia. Those who worked with them must not be forgotten.

Michael Harrison, a graduate of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, started a career in anaesthesia in 1971 in Nottingham. Over sixteen years as an anaesthetist in the UK he attended many Anaesthesia Research Society meetings and was privileged to see and hear many of the academics referred to.

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"It is the truth alone that we desire to know, and what a joy does it not give to have sought it out."

Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742 -86)

Research is the life-blood of medical practice. Without it we would still be following the edicts of Galen; a major investigator of his time. Since the renaissance medical knowledge has advanced because of the efforts of many investigators. Anaesthesia, a relative newcomer to medicine, got off to a slow start. The development of drugs and machines accelerated from about 1950 and, in the lifetime of many anaesthetists still working, changed from primitive to sophisticated.

Below are the individuals whose work, and that of their colleagues, is covered.


I would like to thank all those who have assisted me with various pieces of information and illustrations.

They include Tom Clutton-Brock, Sophie Lieven, Trish Willis, Alistair Mckenzie, Maureen Fortier, Neil Soni, Phil Hopkins, Douglas Russell, James Murray, Judith Hall, David Smith, Gary Enever, Alan Craft, Brian Pollard, Rose Sayce, Matthew Whitaker, Fraser Faithfull, Ewen Forrest, Peter Stanbury, Anna Gebels, Barry Hirst, Jaideep Pandit, Vikram Jha, Arpan Guha, Chris Woollam, David Menon, Gareth Jones, Norma Woodhouse, David Rait, Pierre Foex and the staff of the Medical Library, University of Otago (Wellington).

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