these years spent in anesthesiology, Dr. Hingson's innovative efforts
led to three monumental inventions and methods that continue to
relieve pain and suffering worldwide today. He invented a portable
respirator anesthesia gas machine and resuscitator called the Western
Reserve Midget; this machine is highly transportable and allows
for the delivery of a short-term, general anesthetic. He also performed
extensive experiments in the use of anesthesia to prevent pain during
childbirth; these efforts won international recognition and led
to the invention of the continuous caudal anesthesia techniques.
However, Dr. Hingson is best known in the public health field for
his "jet" injector, a tool that has enabled efficient,
mass, "needle-less" inoculation worldwide against such
diseases as smallpox, measles, tuberculosis, tetanus, leprosy, poliomyelitis
and influenza. The "peace gun", as it is known, allows
the inoculation of 1,000 persons per hour with several simultaneous
from the academic interest in medicine that led to these innovations,
Dr. Hingson's involvement in the field of health had a more personal
leave the luxury of our living room with its color television
and stuffed furniture and hurry across our manicured grass lawn.
But then, alas, as if through magic, our neighbor's eight-room
house and his garden of flowers have vanished. In their place
is a grass hut. A toothless, tuberculous, blind-from-trachoma
grandmother, old at forty-six, stands in the doorway. Your neighbor's
wife has just died in childbirth, lying on a straw mat over
a mud floor covered with flies. Two of the children are sick
with malaria; all have worms; two are coughing following recovery
from measles. The year-old baby died last week from malnutrition.
None of the children have shoes. Only one has ever been to school.
All are physically and physiologically hungry. The father makes
$900 a year. . . . Your tendency is to doubt your eyes and your
ears and your brain. Yet this is a true picture. A billion people
in the world live under the conditions just described."
was this vision of a billion people suffering that led him, over
the years, to organize and lead many thousands of medical service
personnel to volunteer their services in developing countries (usually
during their vacation times). To this end, Dr. Hingson, in association
with Baptist World Alliance, conducted a medical mission survey
in 1958 which resulted in the founding of Brother's Keeper, a
volunteer, non-sectarian group dedicated to the purpose of linking
America's vast medical resources to global health care needs.
Brother's Keeper was dedicated primarily to providing immunizations
in needy countries across the globe. In 1958 a Nigerian medical
student protested that
don't need a keeper; we need a brother".
The point was taken and the organization's name changed to "The
Brother's Brother Foundation" or BBF. From 1958 to 1980 the
foundation immunized over 10 million people.
Dr. Hingson's leadership, BBF's mission broadened to include other
types of aid. When larger international agencies like the World
Health Organization and Rotary International expanded their support
of immunization programs, BBF focused increasingly on other sorts
of assistance (i.e.donating medical supplies and equipment, seed,
other agricultural inputs and educational materials). In 1981 Dr.
Hingson retired from BBF. He was succeeded by his son, Luke Hingson.
While Dr. Hingson is no longer leading the organization, his vision