Margery van Deming, 1914-1998

Dr Margery van Deming
Dr Margery van Deming

Born: Connecticut, United States of America

Education: Columbia Girls’ School, New York

Medical training: Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia

Achievements: The first anaesthesiologist at American’s first children’s hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Made major contributions to the perioperative care of children: Her research showed that children need higher levels of anaesthesia than adults but lethal doses were probably the same as in adults. She also noted that the margin of safety in inhaled anaesthetics is less in infants.

Her damaged right arm (the result of polio when she was 13) made it difficult for her to intubate patients as laryngoscopes were held in the right hand at this time.  Richard Foregger made her a left-handed laryngoscope blade.

Award from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Anesthesiology Robert Smith Award for Contributions to Pediatric Anesthesia.

Interesting facts: Although her mother was a doctor, her father was opposed to women in medicine.

She contracted tuberculosis during her time at medical school and spent a year in a sanatorium.

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