Jack Tinker

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 02 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2920
  1. Janet Fricker

    Founded modern intensive care medicine in Europe

    In the 1970s and 1980s Jack Tinker directed the Middlesex Hospital’s intensive therapy unit, where he is widely credited with setting the standards of modern intensive care in Europe. Before Tinker’s appointment in 1974 intensive care was a rudimentary clinical discipline: patients were managed on side wards with little or no continuity of care. It was left to anaesthetists (often at registrar level) to adjust the ventilator and manage fluids, while ad hoc single organ doctors provided advice about their own particular area of expertise.

    Tinker changed all that, becoming one of the first full time intensive care consultants in the United Kingdom to run a dedicated unit. He was an expert on ventilation, bringing with him the first of a new breed of computer driven ventilators. Tinker staffed his unit with a team of dedicated doctors and nurses, whom he personally trained in the evolving discipline. “Jack was a great leader: he could bring people together, identify a common goal, inspire them, delegate, and make them do stuff. …

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