Drinker, Cecil Kent

SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
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b. 17 March 1887 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
d. 14 April 1956 Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA
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American physiologist, co-inventor of the Drinker respirator (iron lung).
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Drinker attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated MD in 1913. After clinical experience in Boston and, in 1915–16, at Johns Hopkins, he joined the Department of Physiology at Harvard and was appointed Professor in 1924. Apart from continuing his activities in applied physiology, he was also head of the Department of Public Health. As well as investigating poisoning from radium, manganese and carbon monoxide, he was also engaged in a study of the lymphatics and respiration. During the Second World War his earlier work on the iron lung, which he had developed in 1927 with his brother Philip (1894–1972), was deployed in the study and improvement of high-altitude oxygen masks and decompression equipment for service use. He continued an association with the Naval Medical College until 1954, but retired from Harvard in 1948.
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Bibliography
1929, "The use of a new apparatus for the prolonged administration of artificial respiration", American Medical Association (with P. McKhann).
1954, The Clinical Physiology of the Lungs.
1945, Pulmonary Edema and Inflammation.
Further Reading
C.Drinker Bowen, 1970, Family Portrait.
MG

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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