Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Life as an anaesthetist

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 26 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4751

Rapid Response:

Re: Life as an anaesthetist

On 26 July 2019 an interesting article was published on entitled “Life as an anaesthetist” (BMJ 2019;366:14751). One of the challenges of being an anaesthetist was cited as “Lack of public and professional appreciation and recognition”.

Interestingly, 24 hours later in the print edition of the BMJ (BMJ 2019;366:14790) Mr David Dunaway, one of the lead surgeons in the separation of very rare craniopagus twins Safa and Marwa, talks of collaboration in their separation involving at least 100 people including surgeons, physicians, nurses, engineers, therapists, and computer scientists. The surgery alone involved several different operations and lasted in total about 50 hours over a five month period. It is certain that anaesthesia was involved in these procedures.

While anaesthetists do not seek acclamation or publicity, to have been included in the list of those involved would surely have been appropriate. Great Ormond Street Hospital has a world renowned department of anaesthesia with many practitioners especially trained for the many forms of rare surgery such as the separation of complex conjoined twins. I am sure that they would not wish to blow their own trumpets so may I do it for them?

Dr Anthony Rubin
Retired Consultant Anaesthetist


Competing interests: No competing interests

29 July 2019
Anthony P Rubin
Retired Consultant Anaesthetist
ex; Chelsea and Westminster Hospital