As a young physician in New York City, Paluel J. Flagg, M.D. (1886 to 1970, right), lost his daughter to neonatal asphyxia in 1912. His wife also died that year. Grief-stricken, Dr. Flagg found solace in easing human suffering, and began treating leprosy patients in Haiti. In 1912, he also committed his life to the prevention and treatment of asphyxia. What better profession to accomplish this than anesthesiology? In his landmark textbook The Art of Anesthesia (1916), Flagg presaged the modern intensive care unit by calling anesthesiologists pneumatologists—respiratory experts who should extend their practice beyond the operating room. Naturally, Flagg took to refining devices for airway management. He introduced his two-piece metal endotracheal tube (left) in 1928. Spiral wires made the outer catheter flexible, and a rigid inner stylet prevented kinking during insertion. Later, Flagg would develop the first laryngoscope with batteries in the handle. As founder of the National Resuscitation Society and the Society for the Prevention of Asphyxial Death, the heroic physician taught resuscitation maneuvers to countless doctors and paramedics. A good friend of aviator Charles Lindbergh, Flagg, when his soul flew to the heavens, left behind a legacy of patient safety and abundant living progeny—8 sons, 4 daughters, 56 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, Schaumburg, Illinois.)

As a young physician in New York City, Paluel J. Flagg, M.D. (1886 to 1970, right), lost his daughter to neonatal asphyxia in 1912. His wife also died that year. Grief-stricken, Dr. Flagg found solace in easing human suffering, and began treating leprosy patients in Haiti. In 1912, he also committed his life to the prevention and treatment of asphyxia. What better profession to accomplish this than anesthesiology? In his landmark textbook The Art of Anesthesia (1916), Flagg presaged the modern intensive care unit by calling anesthesiologists pneumatologists—respiratory experts who should extend their practice beyond the operating room. Naturally, Flagg took to refining devices for airway management. He introduced his two-piece metal endotracheal tube (left) in 1928. Spiral wires made the outer catheter flexible, and a rigid inner stylet prevented kinking during insertion. Later, Flagg would develop the first laryngoscope with batteries in the handle. As founder of the National Resuscitation Society and the Society for the Prevention of Asphyxial Death, the heroic physician taught resuscitation maneuvers to countless doctors and paramedics. A good friend of aviator Charles Lindbergh, Flagg, when his soul flew to the heavens, left behind a legacy of patient safety and abundant living progeny—8 sons, 4 daughters, 56 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. (Copyright © the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, Schaumburg, Illinois.)

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Jane S. Moon, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles, and Melissa L. Coleman, M.D., Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania.