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BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 24 April 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1147

John Bullough

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Former consultant anaesthetist Dartford group of hospitals (b Essex 1921; q St Bartholomew's 1947; FRCA), d9 January 1999, having suffered from emphysema for three years. During the second world war he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in India and the Middle East. After this he dedicated himself to anaesthesia and resuscitation, spending hours designing equipment, some of which was eventually produced commercially. In 1957 the successful Rainer-Bullough method of resuscitation, which involved bending the patient's legs to compress the abdomen and lower chest and did not involve opening the chest or abdomen, was described in the BMJ. In the United States external cardiac massage and the kiss of life were being investigated, and John travelled to the States to take part in the studies. It was shortly after his return that he gave the kiss of life to a 19 year old woman who had been in a road accident. Describing the incident at the BMA's annual scientific meeting he said, “She was clinically dead. There was no pulse, no breathing, no sign of life. I started massaging her chest and breathed into her mouth. Within four minutes, the heart began to beat again and she was breathing.” A plea was made for doctors, paramedical staff, and the public to be trained in on the spot heart massage.

John wrote many papers on resuscitation, anaesthesia, and intensive care. His record keeping was meticulous, and his photographs, drawings, and papers will be donated to the Royal College of Anaesthetists. It had been his intention to set up an award to promote the practice of resuscitation, and with the aid of the college this wish will be fulfilled. After retirement he turned to other disciplines and did short courses in dermatology, gynaecology, and genitourinary medicine, and obtained posts …

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