Sir Robert Reynolds Macintosh (1897 – 1989) New Zealand Anaesthetist.
Eponymously affiliated with the Macintosh Laryngoscope
The curved blade of the laryngoscope allows larynx exposure by directly lifting the epiglottis. This required lighter planes of anaesthesia and was useful in intubating semi-conscious patients on the battlefield.
Macintosh developed the ‘Oxford Vaporiser’ – machine for the administration of ether in the war, which made anaesthesia safer. He helped to establish academic chairs and the fostering of high standards of training and practice within anaesthesia in developing countries and the commonwealth.
- Born 17 October 1897 Timaru, New Zealand
- His father, Charles Nicholson Macintosh was mayor of Timaru (1901-2) and All Black Number 39, touring Australia in 1893
- Macintosh was baptised with the Maori name Rewi Rawhiti Macintosh and changed his name to Robert Reynolds after WWI
- 1915 – served as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps in WW I. Shot down behind German lines 26 May 1917, imprisoned and made many failed attempts to escape. Repatriated 1918.
- 1924 – Graduated Guys Hospital Medical School MRCS LRCP
- 1927 – Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh
- 1937 – Nuffield Professor of Anaesthetics, Oxford Univeristy. Post was first Chair in anaesthetics in Europe, made at the behest of Lord Nuffield’s, but against the University wishes, for at the time Anaesthetics lacked academic credentials
- 1941 – Air Commodore in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy in WW II. Advisor and consultant, carried out tests on life jackets with Edgar Pask – life jacket is still in use today
- 1955 – knighted
- Died 28 August 1989, Oxford, England
Macintosh Laryngoscope (1943)
The Macintosh laryngoscope has a curved blade which allows exposure of the larynx by positioning the tip in the vallecula, anterior to the epiglottis, lifting it out of view.
This laryngoscope is designed to lessen the difficulty of exposing the larynx to pass an endotracheal tube…The new laryngoscope is designed so that when its short curved blade is in position the tip will fit into the angle made by the epiglottis with the base of the tongue (fig. 2); and a direct view thus obtained (fig. 3). If the laryngoscope is now lifted the base of the tongue will be pushed upwards (fig. 4) ; the epiglottis, because of its attachment to the base of the tongue, is drawn upwards and the larynx (fig. 5).Macintosh RR. Lancet 1943
- Macintosh RR. A new laryngoscope. Lancet 1943; 241(6233): 205
- Macintosh RR. Laryngoscope blades. Lancet 1944; 243(6293): 485
- Obituary. Robert Reynolds Macintosh. BMJ 1989; 299
- Mushin WW. Professor Emeritus Sir Robert Reynolds Macintosh 17 October 1897-28 August 1989. Anaesthesia. 1989; 44(12): 950-2.
- Boulton TB. Professor Sir Robert Macintosh, 1897-1989: personal reflections on a remarkable man and his career. Reg Anesth. 1993; 18(3): 145-54
- Croft T. The resuscitation greats. Professor Sir Robert Macintosh, 1897-1989. Resuscitation. 2002; 54(2): 111-3.
- Sykes K, Benad G. The influence of Sir Robert Reynolds Macintosh on the development of anaesthesia. Anaesthesiol Reanim. 2004; 29(3): 91-6.
- Giuca MS, Desai SP. Eponyms in the operating room: careers of five American physicians. Bull Anesth Hist. 2013; 31(2): 32-5, 39.
- Maltby R. Notable Names in Anaesthesia. The Choir Press; pp 120-122 (2013)
- Biography: Macintosh, Sir Robert Reynolds (1897 – 1989). Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows Online. Royal College of Surgeons of England.
- Sir Robert Reynolds “Rewi” Macintosh (1897-1989) – rootsweb
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