The Pioneers

William Wellesley Mapleson 1926-

This son of an insurance clerk was born in London in 1926. William Mapleson was educated in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, where his family moved in 1937. 325

He attended Durham university were he studied physics. He successfully applied for a position as lecturer at the Welsh National School of Medicine to which to this day he is still employed as Professor.

Mapleson’s main research interests were in the pharmacokinetics of inhaled anaesthetics and the functioning of automatic lung ventilators and he published over 100 research papers and other publications. 325

His place in the history of anaesthesia and surgery is because of his work on the major breathing circuits of the day to eliminate re-breathing. His naming of those circuits were A,B,C,D,E and F

I was once told a story about an anaesthetist who was being interviewed by a panel for the RCA and the interviewee was asked what he knew about Mapleson, he replied with knowledge of his achievements but said he thinks he is now dead! to which a voice at the rear of the panel said

"No I'm Not!"

So, at the time of writing this he is still alive and for quite a few years more we hope.

The Common Map D circuit




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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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