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Usama Abdulla

Former consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool (b Baghdad 1937; q Baghdad 1961; FRCOG), died from metastatic cholangiocarcinoma on 3 October 2004.

After national service, in which he saw active service in northern Iraq, Sam Abdulla worked at Medical City in Baghdad. He met and befriended Ian Donald, who had been taken ill on a visit there. The ultrasound pioneer invited Sam to join his unit in Glasgow. That was the beginning of a lifetime passion for ultrasound, which Sam followed through later in posts at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital, London, and the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. With Ian Donald he was one of the first to publish on ultrasound placentography. With Stuart Campbell he did important work on the safety of diagnostic obstetric ultrasound at a time when there was concern about chromosomal breakage from this investigation. In Oxford with John Stallworthy he developed another interest, which was gynaecological oncology. In 1973 he was appointed senior lecturer in O&G, University of Liverpool. He introduced obstetric ultrasound to Liverpool and subsequently used his exceptional ultrasound experience in the development of fertility services in Liverpool and at the Wirral Fertility Clinic. He gained great personal satisfaction from delivering the Walton sextuplets in 1983. After being appointed to Aintree University Hospital in 1986 he quickly established himself as an experienced senior colleague and "doctors’ doctor." He was immensely proud to be elected president of the North of England Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society in 1996. He will be remembered mostly for his unfailing kindness to patients and colleagues. He loved his garden, his dogs, Scottish art, and travel, but above all his family and the people he knew. In November 2001 he retired because of ill health. He leaves a wife, Linda; four children; and a granddaughter. [John Sutherst]