Intended for healthcare professionals


Andrew Doughty

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 20 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5066
  1. Anne Gulland, London
  1. annecgulland{at}

Inventor of the Doughty gag and early champion of epidurals in labour

Andrew Doughty is probably best known for the Doughty gag, a piece of kit that he fashioned to enable better access to the throat when performing tonsillectomies.1 Doughty split the tongue plate (similar to a tongue depressor) of a Boyle-Davis gag so the patient’s tongue could be held out of the way and an endotracheal tube inserted. The modification meant that the airway was secure, with no blood entering the lungs, and this enabled safer administration of anaesthetic.

“Before the Doughty gag you had to anaesthetise the patient by wafting anaesthetic into the mouth. The patient got some of it and the surgeon and the rest of the theatre staff got a good deal of it. Now, the anaesthetist had complete control and the surgeon didn’t have to breathe in the gas,” says Anna-Maria Rollins, a consultant anaesthetist who interviewed Doughty when he was made an honorary member of the Association of Anaesthetists of …

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