Peter John Firth Baskett

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 29 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1254
  1. Jerry Nolan,
  2. Douglas Chamberlain

    Pioneer of paramedics and giant of resuscitation

    Peter Baskett was one of the world’s leading figures in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and prehospital care. In the early 1970s he developed advanced training for ambulance crews who were among the first paramedics in Europe. He was also responsible for introducing premixed nitrous oxide/oxygen (Entonox) into the ambulance service in the United Kingdom in 1970.

    Peter was born in Northern Ireland, the eldest of three sons of Sir Ronald Baskett, dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at Queen’s University, Belfast. He won a scholarship to Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he completed his preclinical studies before returning to Belfast and graduating in 1958. His initial postgraduate training, including his first post in anaesthesia, was at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. Peter completed his anaesthetic training in Bristol and was appointed consultant anaesthetist to United Bristol Hospitals and Frenchay Hospital in 1966, a position he held until retiring in 1999. Along with the late John Zorab, he established the intensive care unit at Frenchay Hospital in 1967.

    Early in his career Peter was concerned that ambulance crews had no effective means of relieving pain, so he …

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