Robert Alvin Berman

Robert Alvin Berman (1914-1999) was an American anesthesiologist and inventor.

Designed and developed products to solve the problems of airway management. His ideas for using plastic to make single-use medical equipment were at the forefront of this field.

In 1949, during residency an incident occurred which heralded the development of a translucent oropharangeal airway. Whilst performing a laryngoscopy he noted a safety pin in the pharynx. He deduced the pin had come from inside one of the black rubber multi-use Guedel airway that he and his fellow residents kept in their pockets along with safety pins (…of course these were washed between patients…)

Berman discussed the option of a translucent airway device with his neighbour (Meyer Moch – a plastic fabricator) to prevent the issue from recurring. In Moch’s basement they fashioned the original Berman airway from some butyrate tubing heated over an open flame. As luck would have it, Moch had no pharyngeal reflexes and Berman was able to use his mouth to model the fit…


  • Born 1914
  • Died 1999

Medical Eponyms

  • Berman Airway (1949)
  • Berman Resuscitube
  • Berman Respir-Aider
  • Berman QuikCuff

Major Publications



  • Any gossip


eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Resident Medical Officer currently working in Emergency Department at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Pianist and avid Golfer  | LinkedIn |

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