Zinovy Solomonovich Barkagan

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 26 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:214
  1. Pavel Vorobyov,
  2. Boleslav Lichterman

    Haematologist who introduced the concept of disseminated intravascular coagulation

    Zinovy Solomonovich Barkagan is internationally recognised for his pioneering research on snake bites and blood coagulation. He wrote about 20 monographs—including Poisonous Snakes and their Venoms (with P P Perfilev 1967), Salicylates: Modern Views on their Pharmacodynamics and Clinical Use (1975), Laboratory Methods in Investigation of the System of Haemostasis (1980), Haemorrhagic Diseases and Syndromes (1988, 2nd ed)—and chapters in Russian manuals on haematology (2004, 3rd ed), oncology (2001), and the antiphospholipid syndrome (2003), as well as coauthoring several hundred papers.

    Zinovy Barkagan was born in Odessa in 1925 into a teaching family. Later on his father graduated from the local medical school and became a professor at Odessa Medical Institute. At the turn of the 20th century Odessa was a cosmopolitan city on the Black Sea in the south of Russia, the birth place of many outstanding Soviet poets and writers, including Isaac Babel, Konstantin Paustovsky, Eduard Bagritsky, Valentin Kataev, Ilja Ilf, and Yevgeny Petrov. Barkagan explained this phenomenon with his “formula of genius”—everyone in Odessa ate a lot of fish and shrimps. Barkagan himself hesitated in his choice between literature and medicine. He combined his medical studies during the second world war at Alma-Ata in Kazakhstan with evening classes at the journalism faculty of the literary institute evacuated from Moscow. He learnt that O Henry was awarded a prize for the shortest story consisting of just two sentences: …

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