The PioneersThe MilitaryReferences

Thomas Phillip Ayre 1902-1979

Phillip Ayre was born in 1902. he is and an anaesthetist that is well known in the Newcastle region. He was an anaesthetist at Newcastle Gen Hospital in 1934, and later he joined the Victoria infirmary. Ayre was one of the pioneers of paediatric anaesthesia, paediatric anaesthesia in the early days, was not as specialised as it is today.

Ayre is quoted as saying " paediatric anaesthesia is a protracted and sanguine battle between surgeons and anaesthetists were the unfortunate baby as the battlefield"

Ayre is famously known for the T Piece that he invented in 1937and this concept overcoming problems with providing anaesthesia to small babies. It is still used today as part of the Mapleson F circuit. He accredited part of his invention to Henry Boyles modified Airway.

I have spoken to several anaesthetists who knew and worked with  Phillip Ayre and they tell me that he was not one to fool with. He had a cleft palette and hair lip and spoke with that accent that comes with that deformity. He however had a good sense of humour. He was very good with his young patients as most were fascinated by his speech impediment.

He also suffered from Alopecia and wore a wig. With all these distractions he still maintained himself to be one of the best paediatric anaesthetist of his time.