Previous Abstract | Next Abstract
Printable Version
October 21, 2008
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Room Hall E2-Area D,
The Centenary of the Birth of Dr. Benjamin Etsten
Naosuke Sugai, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Relief Center, Chigasaki Tokushukai Medical Center, Chigasaki, Kanagawaken, Japan
The year 2008 marks the 100th year after the birth of Dr. Benjamin E. Etsten, born on May 24, 1908 in Laurence Mass., graduating from Tufts College and receiving medical education at University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He interned at Albany and Ellis Hospitals in New York and was a resident in anesthesiology from 1938 to 1941 at Albany Hospital under Dr. F.A.D. Alexander, a former resident of Dr. Ralph Waters. In 1941 although for a short period, he was an exchange resident at Wisconsin under Waters with the recommendation of Alexander. After appointments at Albany Medical School, Etsten was invited to Tufts University in 1948 and appointed as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology in 1952. All through his professional life, the influence of Ralph Waters is evident-that is the emphasis on three important areas of the specialty of anesthesiology- clinical practice, education and research. His main interest was in the introduction of rigorous scientific thinking into the clinical practice, education and research. He was an excellent clinician as well as a scholar from his resident days according to Alexander's letters to Waters kept at University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives. In late1950's and early1960's, when there were few monitors available and the patient was ventilated with breathing bag during anesthesia, he introduced Etsten Ventilator of hand driven bellow type producing a set tidal volume determined by Radford nomogram, for proper ventilation of the anesthetized patient. He also used a small oscilloscopic encepahlograph for determining the depth of cycloporopane anesthesia admnistered through a closed circle. He gave strong influence on medical students to whom he used to demonstrate resuscitation of the dog at the beginning of the clinical course. He did his first basic research work with Harold Himwich, a pharmacologist at Albany and after moving to Tufts he built a leading laboratory in the basic research related to circulation during anesthesia. He was one of the eight founding members of the Association of University Anesthesiologits and served as its president from 1967 to 1968. He died on July 11, 1987 but his legacy lasts in the United States and the world.

Anesthesiology 2008; 109 A1363