Frank J. Murphy

Francis John Murphy (1900 - 1972)

Francis John Murphy (1900 – 1972) was an American anesthesiologist.



  • Born 11 March 1900, Oldham, South Dakota
  • 1925 – M.D., C.M. from McGill Medical School, Montreal
  • 1927 – Training in anesthesia, Montreal General Hospital
  • Died 1972

Medical Eponyms

Murphy Endotracheal Tube and the Murphy eye (1941)

The Murphy eye is a hole at the tip of the endotracheal tube to prevent tube obstruction if the beveled end of the tube is obstructed by mucus or sealed by contact with the tracheal wall. By the 1950’s it was present on most Magill endotracheal tubes, and the eponyms of ‘Murphy eye’ or ‘Murphy tube’ became standard.

Murphy note that: “The ideal intratracheal catheter should possess certain characteristics which may be listed as follows : (a) Sufficient flexibility to accommodate itself to the pharynx and larynx. (b) Sufficient elasticity to prevent irritation to the parts through which it passes. (c) Sufficient body to resist the compression to which it would ordinarily be subjected when in use. (d) Resistance to kinking when bent at a moderately acute angle. (e) Ease of sterilization, (preferably by heat). ( f ) Durability in spite of repeated sterilizations. (8) Ease of insertion. (h) Adequate diameter of lumen in relation to outside diameter (i) Availability in a sufficient range of sizes.

Murphy modification of straight catheter
Murphy modification of straight catheter

In addition to the eyes at the end of the tube, there are two other lateral eyes. Thus the total area of the openings in the end of the tube is much greater than the cross section of the lumen. This is of importance because should one or more of the eyes become obstructed with mucus, breathing is still not embarrassed…These catheters have been used by the author for several hundred cases, and have been found entirely satisfactory wherever the intratracheal method has been indicated.

Murphy 1941
Murphy modification of Magill type catheter
Murphy modification of Magill type catheter

Key Medical Attributions


Major Publications


eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and informatics. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | vocortex |

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