Roger Edward Wentworth Manley 1930-1991

This inventor, anaesthetist and engineer, was described as a quite, modest man and was another graduate of the Westminster hospital in London. He was appointed in the year of my birth in 1954 as an anaesthetist.

With always one eye in a medical magazine and the other in an engineering manual he was soon to start work on improving the ventilators that were in use at that time, most of them were noisy, unreliable, heavy and cumbersome.

His first minute volume divider (Manley Ventilator) was to appear in 1961. It was easy to use at it only required a fresh gas flow.

In a lot of places the anesthetist used to hand ventilate the patients for the shorter procedures as the equipment prior to the reliable Manley was troublesome at times. The term educated hand was often used.

It was built in the workshops of John Blease, who had previously designed an anaesthetic machine and ventilator. Used in conjunction with the Boyles machine it was a revelation and made life so much easier for the anaesthetists. It was the main ventilator used in the United Kingdom for decades as it was easy to use and set up and every now and then you had to find a Wrights Respirometer to ensure the calibration was ok.

I remember the machine used to make a noise if the patient started to breath. He was in the process of developing the mutivent  version when he died. Roger Eltringham  continued this development  and Penlon manufactured it. Roger Manley was only 61 when he died but can be put up there with the best of the anaesthetic innovators.


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