Cecil Hougie

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 23 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5099
  1. Leon Poller
  1. leon.poller{at}

    Discoverer of congenital deficiency in the blood coagulation factor X

    Cecil Hougie, the world renowned coagulationist, has died suddenly in La Jolla, California, aged 87. His account of the discovery and identification of the clotting factor X defect in a US patient, Rufus Stuart, in 1955 is described in his readable 2004 historical monograph Thrombosis and Bleeding: An Era of Discovery. The inherited deficiency is found in one of every 500 000 to one million people and causes abnormal bleeding. In its preface he poignantly writes, “The book not only tells the story of remarkable discoveries, but it is also about the scientists that made them: their dedication, idealism, perseverance, enthusiasm, painstaking work and sometimes genius. There are few if any scientists who, at some time or other, have not made a scientific error.”

    Wikipedia’s entry for factor X states, “American and British scientists described deficiency of factor X independently in 1953 and 1956, respectively” ( As well as …

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