Robert Alvin Berman, 1914-1999

Dr Robert Berman
Dr Robert Berman

Born: Brooklyn, New York, United States of America

Medical training: North Carolina; Sheffield, England; Chicago and New York City

Achievements: 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.

Interesting facts: He performed a laryngoscopy and noticed a safety pin in the pharynx. The airway was opaque, black rubber and had been carried in his pocket, along with safety pins. Berman though that transparent airways would prevent this from happening again, and worked with a plastics engineer, Meyer Moch, to design one. The airway they created was easier to clean, with no blind channel, and his colleagues soon wanted one too.

His second commercially available airway was an intubating airway, based on the English divided airway.

He established one of the first departments of respiratory therapy.

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