The bravest man in the RAF never to have flown an aeroplane


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Edgar Pask was the first professor of anaesthesia in Newcastle, the second chair to be established in England.

During the Second World War, he worked with Professor Macintosh, researching aspects of human physiology for the RAF. He acted as a human guinea pig for very dangerous experiments, intended to investigate ways of saving the lives of airmen forced to bale out at high altitudes, or ditch into freezing seas. He tested the limits of a human endurance due to hypoxia at high altitudes. He tested immersion suits and, unconscious and afloat, tested life jackets.For his bravery, the King awarded him the OBE in 1944.

The foreword of Pask's MD Thesis

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Some illustrations from the Thesis


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Photographs of Pask unconscious during the immersion experiments


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Last edited on 17/10/00