Frank Pantridge – the Father of Emergency Medicine

Published by P&P on

Home » People » Famous Folk » Frank Pantridge – the Father of Emergency Medicine

Background

James Francis ‘Frank’ Pantridge was born on 3rd October 1916 in the small town of Hillsborough, not far from Belfast. His father was Robert James Pantridge a local famer and his mother was Elizabeth McCandles.

Frank’s father died when he was only 10. This may explain an unruly childhood that saw him expelled from school several times. However, Frank completed his secondary education at Friends’ School, Lisburn and went on to graduate from Queens University Belfast in 1939 with a degree in medicine.

World War 2

In 1940 Frank enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps. During the war, he was captured by Japanese forces during the Fall of Singapore. He was then made to work on the infamous Burma “Death” Railway. This infamous railway was built to transport supplies overland between Burma and Thailand. The 258-mile rail line was completed in just over one year at the cost of 13,000 Allied Prisoners of War, alongside 100,000 local workers from across the region. Pantridge was awarded the Military Cross “in recognition of the gallant and distinguished services in Malaya in 1942”.

Medical Career

Frank returned to Belfast after the war and lectured in the Pathology Department of Queens University before winning a scholarship to study under the eminent cardiologist, Dr F.N. Wilson at the University of Michigan.

By 1950 Frank Pantridge was back in Belfast employed as a cardiac consultant at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Together with his colleague, Dr John Geddes, he introduced cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR] for the initial treatment of heart attacks.

Animated CPR image from the American Heart Association
Animated CPR image
Credit: American Heart Association

As a result of this success, Frank went on to develop the portable defibrillator for use on a patient before hospital admission. Often known as “the Pantridge Plan”, the portable defibrillator is now seen as a key tool in medical emergencies and is a common sight in many public buildings. It has become adopted throughout the world and has saved countless lives.

Portable defibrillator on a wall
Portable defibrillator
Image by Tanja-Denise Schantz from Pixabay

Recognition and Legacy

In recognition of his immense contribution to modern medicine, Frank Pantridge was appointed to the Order of St John in June 1969 and awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire [CBE] in 1979.

“Professor Pantridge was a Queens University graduate, then lecturer and eventually a revered and admired Professor. Even after his death, his work continues to save lives. Professor Pantridge is rightly regarded as the Father of Emergency Medicine and his invention was a genuine, life-saving breakthrough”.

Vice Chancellor of Queens University, Professor Ian Greer, 2018


Frank Pantridge suffered all his life with poor health due to his gruelling experiences during World War 2. He died on 26 th December 2004.


Do you want to see all new BelfastEntries Posts?
If you like our Facebook posts and would like to see more then please add yourself as a friend to our PandP profile screen or follow our BelfastEntries page. We cannot add posts to all groups and the only way to be sure of receiving notifications of new posts is to follow our page. You will see that the Belfast Entries page has a 5 star rating from readers

If you enjoyed this article please consider a small donation

Belfast Entries is a husband & wife hobby website featuring articles on our shared history, memories and entertaining stories of our past. To help us meet rising website hosting costs please click the coffee cup below to learn how to make a small donation. Please note that every contribution is valued and that we will not contact you directly in order to respect your privacy.

Buy Us a Coffee
Buy Us a Coffee

Donations this month 2 😀

Thank you Helen

Thank you Jackie

We had 3 donations last month


Help Us Find New Readers

If you like our posts please help us to grow our readership by sharing any posts that you like using the social media sharing icons shown with each post.


What are others reading now?

Galboly cottage view

Galboly – The County Antrim Village Lost in Time

By P&P / 30 September 2021 / 4 Comments
Mill chimney - a common sight in Belfast

Ardoyne – The Story of a Village

By P&P / 13 November 2021 / 2 Comments
Bodies Illustration at the scene Belfast Telegraph 13th March 1890

Nora’s Grave 1890 – Love & Death

By P&P / 19 March 2022 / 0 Comments
Belfast Long Bridge crossed the River Lagan between 1688 and 1841

Unusual Laws in Old Belfast 1613 – 1816

By P&P / 11 March 2022 / 0 Comments
Hy Brasil Appears (AI image © Bing Image Creator)

Hy Brasil – The True Story of a Mythical Island

By P&P / 9 September 2022 / 0 Comments

Cost of Living Crisis

Given the current cost of living crisis that will impact so many in coming months we have added a page signposting organisations that may be able to offer support. We have no relationship with these organisations and cannot offer financial advice but we hope that some of the links may prove useful.


Ancestry Antrim Arthur Chichester artist Belfast Belfast Entries Belfast Family belfast roots Carrickfergus Castle Cemetery Church Clifton House County Antrim County Down Department Store Donegal education. family tree Famous Folk Forgotten folk Genealogy Ghost graveyard Historical places History Hotel Ireland Irish Census Records Irish Family Irish genealogy irish roots Mary Ann McCracken Operation Overlord Otto Jaffe Outlaw People Philanthropist Places to see Poor House Sailortown St Patrick Titanic Tourism United Irishmen


Belfast Entries posts & photos are our intellectual property and copyrighted to us. Where we use photos that do not belong to us, it is because we believe them to be in the public domain or shared under a Creative Commons licence with appropriate attribution. None of our content or images can be used without our consent. Note that a link to our Copyright & Takedown notice is included in the website footer on all pages.


P&P

We are a Belfast couple adding information on Belfast and the surrounding counties. Over coming months we will add a range of posts covering the people, places, products and stories that interest us and will hopefully be of interest to you. Over time we hope to build up information of use to locals & visitors alike and welcome your feedback on subjects of interest or stories that might be interest to the wider audience. Let us know what you think.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Would you like notifications of new Belfast Entries posts? OK No thanks