Wilfred Gordon Bigelow
1913 – 2005
Who was Wilfred Gordon Bigelow?
Born in Brandon, Manitoba, the son of Dr. Wilfred Abram Bigelow, founder of the first private medical clinic in Canada, and Grace Ann Gordon, nurse and midwife, he gained his MD from the University of Toronto in 1938. He served during World War II as a Captain in the Royal Canadian Medical Army Corps, performing battle surgery on the frontlines. He was appointed to the surgical staff of Toronto General Hospital in 1947, after spending a year at Johns Hopkins Medical School, and to the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto in 1948.
In the 1950s, Bigelow developed the idea of using hypothermia as a medical procedure. This involves reducing a patient's body temperature prior to an operation in order to reduce the amount of oxygen needed, making heart operations safer.
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