Thomas Cecil Gray 1913-2008

Thomas Cecil Gray will be remembered for what was known as the "Liverpool Technique".

Thomas Cecil Gray was born in Liverpool in 1913. After education at Ampleforth College he went on to graduate at Liverpool University in 1937.

In those days it was not unusual for a GP to give an anaesthetic, he formalised himself by doing a diploma in anaesthetics and work at the local hospitals in Liverpool.

Becoming interested in the subject, he took the Diploma in Anaesthetics, sold his general practice and developed an extensive anaesthetic practice in the leading local hospitals.

Enlisting in the Army in 1942, he was posted to a mobile neurosurgical unit in Oxford. Later, in North Africa, he suffered a severe bronchopneumonia and was discharged in 1944. On recovery, he resumed his hospital practice.

Having read of the use of curare to improve abdominal muscle relaxation during general anaesthesia, by Griffiths in Canada, he began laboratory and clinical investigations.306

In 1946 he presented his results of its use in abdominal surgery and those of John Halton who was at that time was a doctor with the RAF, at the Royal Society of Medicine - a total of more than 1,000 cases.

Gray and Halton's trial was successful and the birth of relaxation anaesthesia in this country was established. He extended his trials to full relaxation and with eventual reversal of the relaxant with atropine and neostigmine. (Liverpool Technique)

He was also the first to describe the train of four technique before reversal.

He edited several publications.




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