Robert Minnitt (1889-1974) was born in Preston and graduated from the University of Liverpool Medical School 1915. He became a GP and honorary anaesthetist to the Liverpool Royal Infirmary and the Northern and Maternity hospitals. Minnitt sought a form of pain relief that could be used by midwives at home or in hospital without the need for medical supervision
He attended a meeting of the RSM in 1933 on the use of N2O and O2. He felt that a N2O and air apparatus would be easier. Along with Charles King, he made the first “on demand” N2O and air machine that became the forerunner of entonox machines of today. The first use of his apparatus took place on October 16th 1933 at the Liverpool Maternity hospital and was hailed in the press.
He was a great teacher and always advocated safe and scientific based principles. He became the first lecturer in anaesthesia at the University of Liverpool and his efforts helped create the first university dept in Liverpool.
In 1944 with John Gillies of Edinburgh, he published a widely used “Textbook of Anaesthesia”.
H was given multiple accolades including the Hickman medal in 1950, honorary membership of the RCOG and RSM and President of the LSA 1951-53.