The Division of Women’s Health has a strong tradition in making important contributions to the field. Notable names include:
John Haighton FRS (1755-1823) Obstetrician
John Haighton was prolific obstetric operator and developed some of the earliest instruments for delivering babies including forceps. By the early eighteenth century the use of forceps by physicians was widespread throughout Europe. Obstetricians began to refine the design as they saw fit. In skilled hands these instruments aided the positive outcome of many obstructed labours.
James Blundell (1790-1878) Obstetrician
In the nineteenth century, mortality of pregnant women was one in 100. As an obstetrician, Blundell witnessed many women dying from post-partum haemorrhage. At this time, blood-letting was still regarded as a useful treatment for haemorrhage, while transfusion had been banned medical practice since 1667.
John Braxton Hicks (1823-1897) Obstetrician
In 1872, John Braxton Hicks was the first physician to describe podalic version of the fetus and the contractions of the uterus which are known by his name. These are normally painless contractions, which do not lead to childbirth, and begin as early as the third month of pregnancy.
John Lever (1811-1859) Physician
Pre-eclampsia is one of the commonest complications of pregnancy, and is responsible for the death of 600 babies and seven mothers in the UK each year.
John Lever was the first to describe the presence of protein in the urine which is a crucial indication, with high blood pressure, that a pregnant woman is at risk of emplampsia. Pre-eclampsia in 1910 when blood pressure measurements began.