Dr Archie Brain

By far the most impressive and useful modern day equipment contribution to anaesthetics is the invention is the Laryngeal Mask Airway. 

Archie Ian Jeremy Brain was born in Kobe, Japan to a British diplomat family. He won a scholarship to the University of Oxford and eventually decided to attend medical school, also at Oxford, with clinical training at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London.

After obtaining a diploma in anaesthetics, he worked in Holland and the Seychelles, returning to the UK in 1980 to accept a post at the Royal London Hospital.

Brain worked on several research projects, one of the them being the prototype laryngeal mask airway, for which he received a patent in 1982 227

It did not however become a common use item until Propofol became widely available, as it depressed the gag reflex better than thiopentone.


So the Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA) was invented by Dr. Archie I.J. Brain in the East End of London in 1981. 

Dr. Brain identified the need for better safety, reliability, and the ease of insertion of airway management devices. 

He has gone on to modify this invention and produced different variations to deal with different anaesthetic conditions. 


They were at first, produced as multi-usable re-sterilisable items. They are now, however, developed as a single use and are disposable.




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The History of Surgery and Anaesthesia was created as a free resource to educate Students or indeed anyone wishing to understand the beginings of surgery and Anaesthesia.

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