I just met John Hinds in person only two weeks ago. But that was enough to leave a lasting impression. He was charismatic, energetic, and dedicated to his craft. Witnessing him in action at SMACC Chicago, and watching his enthusiasm for emergency and trauma care was truly inspiring.
Unfortunately, John died on July 4th, doing what he loved. He was involved in an accident while providing medical cover for a practice session of the Skerries 100 motorcycle race in County Dublin.
The trauma world is now a little emptier, but John left a mark that will stay with us for a long time to come.
Another giant has passed from the trauma world. Erwin Thal died Saturday morning in Dallas, his home city. I have known this brilliant and charming surgeon for many years, and always enjoyed his company and his fine wit. It saddens me greatly that we will no longer feel his direct influence on our field.
Dr. Thal attended my medical school alma mater, The Ohio State University. He went on to complete his internship and residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital in 1969. He then joined the faculty there and has been an integral part of that program for the past 45 years. He co-authored numerous papers and book chapters, and was a major presence in the education of trauma and surgical trainees.
Obit: Max Harry Weil MD – Feb 9, 1927-July 29, 2011
Some people may recognize the name, but few can comprehend how much this man has done for the fields of trauma and critical care. Dr. Weil was a world-class clinician, teacher and researcher, and is believed to have coined the phrase “critical care medicine.”
Some of his many notable accomplishments:
In 1955, Dr. Weil created the first bedside shock cart, which is now known as the crash cart.
In the late 1950’s, he and his colleagues recognized that some patients who were seriously ill or who had undergone major surgery had a propensity to die at night. He hit upon the concept that having an area for closer monitoring of these patients might allow for earlier recognition of acute problems and earlier intervention to correct them. This led to the creation of a four bed “shock ward.” This was the precursor to the first intensive care unit, which opened in 1968.
Introduced automated vital signs monitors in 1961.
Created the first computer assisted diagnosis tools in 1976.
Developed the STAT lab concept for rapid results in critically ill patients in 1981.
He was the co-inventor for 22 patented devices including:
Resuscitation blanket to protect medical personnel from electric shocks when defibrillating patients (2002).
Capnometer for assessing the severity of shock which can be placed in the upper GI tract or under the tongue (2001).
The Weil Mini Chest Compressor (2006)
An IV pump system (1981), detection for occlusion or infiltration (1985)
Osmotic pressure sensor (1977)
High frequency ventilator (1983)
A method for identifying cardiac rhythm even while CPR is in progress (2006)
Dr. Weil established the Institute for Critical Care Medicine in 1961, and worked there full-time after he left the University of Southern California. The institute trains physicians and engineers to discover and develop concepts and methods for more beneficial life-saving medical management. He stepped down as the president of the institute in 2006, but continued to work there full-time until two weeks before he died.
The world has lost a true physician, teacher and innovator.