Dr. John J. 'Jack' Downes (1930-), the anesthesiologist-in-chief at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (1972-1996), has made numerous contributions to pediatric anesthesia and critical care medicine through a broad spectrum of research on chronic respiratory failure, status asthmaticus, postoperative risks of apnea in premature infants, and home-assisted mechanical ventilation. However, his defining moment was in January 1967, when The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia inaugurated its pediatric intensive care unit - the first of its kind in North America. During his tenure, he and his colleagues trained an entire generation of pediatric anesthesiologists and intensivists and set a standard of care and professionalism that continues to the present day. Based on an interview with Dr. Downes, this article reviews a career that advanced pediatric anesthesia and critical care medicine and describes the development of that first pediatric intensive care unit at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
- John J. Downes
- pediatric critical care medicine
- pediatric intensive care unit
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine