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Memorial tablet commemorates anaesthetist Edward Embley who is remembered for his study of chloroform. This anaesthetic was known to depress the respiration and circulation, and to damage the liver and kidneys. It could also cause sudden death in the induction stage. Embley rejected the Hyderabad Commission`s findings of 1889-91 that these deaths were due to respiratory failure, a view which ignored the sudden deaths.

In 1899 he went as a week-end volunteer to the university`s physiology department, to work under (Sir) Charles Martin. The upshot was his classic paper of 1902. Embley proved sudden death under chloroform to be due to cardiac, not to respiratory failure. His paper aroused world wide interest. Henceforth, chloroform was to be given progressively, close watch upon the pulse and avoidance of surgical interference until anaesthesia was complete.

The ceremony of conferring degrees took place in the Wilson Hall, Melbourne University, this afternoon. Lord Somers unveiled a memorial tablet on the west wall of the Wilson Hall to the late Dr E H. Embley. The tablet is inscribed: — "In memory of Edward Henry Embley, M.D., a graduate of this University, who by his research on the action of general anaesthetics materially lessened their dangers, and so proved a great benefactor to mankind. Died May 9, 1924." Professor W. A. Osborne referred to the important work carried out by Dr. Embley on the causation of death while under chloroform. The Chancellor (Sir John Macfarland) accepted the memorial and commented on the great progress of the Melbourne University, which today celebrates the 75th anniversary of its establishment. After the unveiling ceremony the academic procession left the hall, followed by the new graduates, and proceeded to the lawns in front of the new Arts building, where the Chancellor received his guests.
The Herald (Melbourne), 12 April 1930. 

Location

Address:Wilson Avenue, Building 151, Wilson Hall, Melbourne University, Parkville, 3052
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.798321
Long: 144.961442
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Medicine

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 12th April, 1930
Front Inscription
In memory of
Edward Henry Embley, M.D.,
a graduate of this University, who by his research on the action of general anaesthetics materially lessened their dangers, and so proved a great benefactor to mankind.
Died May 9, 1924.
Source: MA,ADB
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