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Monday, 10 October 2011

Joseph T. Clover (1825-1882)

Never heard of him? Nope me neither. His blue plaque is at 3 Cavendish Place at the southern end of Harley Street home of bespoke medical care to the very VERY wealthy.
He was born in Aylsham Norfolk - note to self another plaque to look out for!
He studied at UCL alongside Lister and upon graduation became house surgeon to James Syme and then Resident Medical Officer at the University College Hospital becoming a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1850 before setting up at the Cavendish Place house as a GP. After several years of practice he became interested in the field of anaesthesia possibly inspired by his presence at Listons first anaesthatised operation in December 1846 and became chloroformist to the University College Hospital and the London Dental Hospital, his specialisation helping to fill the vacancy left by the death of John Snow whos story Ill have to recount another time. In 1871 he reported that hed administered chloroform 7000 times and other aneasthetics 4000 times without a fatality and was sought out by the royal family among others for his expertise. He invented several pieces of equipment to aid the process and to make it more controlled some of which lasted well into the 20th century.
As one whos had a couple of procedures involving general anaesthetic a big thank you to anyone involved in the process and gratitude that we dont live in a pre-anaesthetic age.

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