On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.101 n.12 Cape Town Dec. 2011
Edmond Bloch (22/11/1923 - 04/09/2011)
Edmond Bloch has passed away in Durham, North Carolina, where he had held professorships at Duke University in Anesthesiology and in Pediatrics.
Born in Koffiefontein, he graduated from UCT in 1946, entering general practice in Port Elizabeth in 1948. An interest in anaesthesia took him in 1962, with his family, to the UK, where he trained in Liverpool at Sefton General Hospital and at Alder Hey Children's Hospital. He obtained Fellowships of the Faculties of Anaesthetists of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in England, and in Dublin, both in 1964.
Returning to Port Elizabeth (where his brother Basil was a gynaecologist and obstetrician) he practised as a consultant anaesthetist, later in partnership with John Coxon. In 1965 he established there the Respiratory and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which he directed until 1977. In 1967 he received the Meritorious Service Award of the Medical Association of South Africa.
He was appointed in 1977 to the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University, where he held professorships in Anesthesiology (1978) and also in Pediatrics (1985). At Duke, he established a renowned paediatric anaesthesiology unit and practised, researched and taught there until clinical retirement in 1993, but continued for some years as a popular mentor, publishing papers, articles and books. Highly regarded as a meticulous and innovative clinician, he was always highly valued by his students, now practising throughout the world. In 1976 he was awarded the Merel Harmel Teaching Award.
In 1950 he had married Eda Frankel, who had also graduated MB ChB from UCT. He is survived by her and by their children Myrna (in Winston Salem, USA), and Colin, an architect and town planner in Bristol, England, and by their five grandchildren.
Edmond Bloch's many research interests included the pioneering of parental presence during the induction of anaesthesia. He is remembered by colleagues, friends and family as a kind and gentle man.