What is this item?
This is a note contained within a collection of papers written by Professor Frederick Charles Pybus, a respected surgeon from Newcastle upon Tyne (1883-1975).
What does the note describe?
It describes how, when he was a working as a House-Surgeon (a surgeon at a hospital) at the Royal Infirmary in Newcastle in 1908, Pybus lost a young patient following what seemed to be a successful operation. It was felt that this was because the child had not been given enough food. The note explains that this led to the patient not being able to break down the cholorform used as an anaesthetic (Chloroform is a type of anaesthetic and is something given to a patient to produce loss of feeling and prevent pain in the body).
Who was Professor Pybus?
Professor Pybus was a well-known surgeon from Newcastle upon Tyne. He was a very important medical person, both in England and abroad. He studied at Newcastle College of Medicine and his close relationships with the Royal Victoria Infirmary (the RVI Hospital in Newcastle) and Newcastle University meant that he became an important figure in cancer research and paediatrics (a part of medicine that manages the care of babies, children and young people). Professor Pybus also helped in the creation of the well-known energy drink, Lucozade.
Why did he create Lucozade?
Professor Pybus made sure that patients drank a sugary drink (originally called Glucozade) before they went in for an operation. This was to strengthen patients before they went into surgery, to keep their blood sugar levels up and increase their chances of surviving the operation. However, in 1938, a company called Beecham, which develops medications, realised that the sugary drink could be sold to make money and Lucozade was created. Lucozade is still sold in shops today as an energy drink.
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More about Professor Pybus…
Click here if you would like to find out more about Professor Pybus and the origins of Lucozade.
Pybus carried out operations at the First Northern General Hospital in Newcastle during the First World War. Find out more and see a photograph of him and his operation book here.
He also had a wide ranging interest in cancer and published many research papers. Click here to find out more about Pybus’ cancer research.
Would you like to see other items referring to Professor Pybus held in Special Collections? Click here to find out more about the Frederick Pybus Papers.
Are you interested in learning more about anatomy and the human body? Have a look at Vesalius’ The Fabric of the Human Body, held in Newcastle University’s Special Collections.