Jess Bernard Weiss

Jess Bernard Weiss (1917 – 2007)

Jess Bernard Weiss (1917 – 2007) was an American anesthesiologist.

Following an impressive career, Weiss is best remembered for his modification of the epidural needle by addition of a T-shaped set of wings

Major interest in obstetric anaesthesia shifting emphasis from general anaesthesia to regional


  • Born 1917
  • St. Mungo’s College of Medicine in Glasgow, Scotland
  • Medical school training interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the US Navy
  • 1984 – President, American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • 1985-1987 President, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation
  • Died June 28, 2007

Medical Eponyms

Weiss Epidural Needle

Like many others involved in the development of the epidural needle over time, Weiss made modifications to an existing epidural needle. The needle design, originally by Huber, was modified by Tuohy for use in epidural anesthesia before further modification by Hustead. Weiss made the addition of a T-shaped set of wings.

This favored the ‘hanging drop’ technique used by Weiss. The addition of wings was crucial because it allowed him to slowly advance the needle with both hands while observing the fluid drop disappearing as the tip of the needle entered the epidural space. Weiss also blunted the tip of the needle allowing the practitioner to push the dura mater forward without perforating it.

Major Publications



eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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