Douglas Russell

Douglas Russell

"Persons of distinction who have contributed to the advancement of intravenous anaesthesia are eligible for election as Honorary Members on the nomination of the committee"

DouglasRussell-Honorary Member DouglasRussell-Honorary Member Certificate

Dr Douglas Russell has been a SIVA UK member since 1997. He joined the committee as Honorary Secretary in 1999, and in February 2000 he wrote, published and subsequently maintained the website. In 2002 the Society became the first Specialist Anaesthesia Society in the UK to receive meeting registrations via its website, with online payment of fees by credit or debit card. Between 2001 and 2007 Dr Russell acted as Meetings Co-ordinator, and was UK organiser for the joint meeting with EuroSIVA held in Glasgow in 2003. He was Treasurer from 2003 - 2006, and President from 2006 - 2009. In recognition of his enormous contribution to the Society, and also his work in education & research in the field of intravenous anaesthesia, he was awarded Honorary Membership at the Society's 2010 Annual Dinner held in Ashford.

Douglas Russell was educated at Mearns Primary and Eastwood High School in Renfrewshire, and at the University of Glasgow. As a teenager he had surgery by the world renowned plastic surgeon Ian Jackson, and has vivid memories of the consultant anaesthetist, Dr Duncan Ferguson, sitting down and chatting pre-operatively. At that point he wanted to be an anaesthetist. As an undergraduate he was taught by Dr Walter Nimmo in Glasgow and Dr Sam McKechnie in Inverclyde. A computer assisted learning package in the St Mungo Building at Glasgow Royal Infirmary proved particularly stimulating. It had been written and provided by Dr Gavin Kenny.

Following Junior House Officer posts in the West of Scotland he embarked on a five year Short Service Commission as a Royal Naval Medical Officer. An initial month of training in anaesthesia under the tutelage of Surgeon Captain David L Swain secured his entry into the specialty, and he embarked on "General Duties". This included a month at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and another at the Institute of Naval Medicine in Alverstoke. He then joined HMS Broadsword in Plymouth, as Medical Officer to the 2nd Frigate Squadron. Thereafter he was DPMO at HMS Cochrane, Rosyth, and was then appointed SHO, latterly Registrar in Anaesthesia at the Royal Naval Hospital in Plymouth. During this time he was part of the Plymouth Surgical Support Team, and it was on return from Arctic Survival Training with the Royal Marines in Norway that he was deployed on HM Submarine Superb. One of the highlights was in May 1998 - twenty-four hours spent not far from the North Pole, in the first joint surfacing through the Polar Icecap by two Royal Navy submarines.

Within a few weeks of returning from submarine patrol Surgeon Lieutenant Russell gained success in Part 1 FFARCS, and a few months later Part 2 FCAnaes. He first saw TIVA in clinical practice in Plymouth in 1988, administered by Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Steve Squires to patients undergoing Oral Surgery. His Specialist Training in Anaesthesia continued in Glasgow, with early success in the Final FRCA. He was then appointed Research Fellow in the University of Glasgow Department of Anaesthesia, under the supervision of Gavin Kenny. A number of projects were undertaken, including many directly relating to intravenous anaesthesia. A landmark study was carried out in 1992 in conjunction with Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, where Dr Iain Glen was co-ordinating the clinical trial programme. Infusion of propofol to patients undergoing body surface surgery by manual control was compared with administration by target-controlled infusion - TCI. The results were presented at the ESA Meeting in Paris in 1995, published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, and formed part of Zeneca's submission to the Regulatory Authorities whereby the Diprifusor TCI system was approved.

Now a Consultant Anaesthetist in South Glasgow Dr Russell continued his interest in TIVA. He was an invited speaker at a number of remifentanil meetings, and chaired the product launch meeting held at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow. From 1997 he hosted annual meetings entitled "TIVA for Trainees", with live demonstrations of TIVA from the operating theatre. The meetings were "anchored" in the lecture theatre by Professor Gavin Kenny. These meetings later became open to anaesthetists of all grades wishing to develop an interest in intravenous anaesthesia, were renamed Totally TIVA, and were attended by hundreds of delegates from throughout the UK and beyond. The content of these programmes was again a mix of lectures and live Case presentations, with Douglas involving SIVA-UK in these study days - so cementing a firm relationship between the Society and his local department which was to remain a feature of the meetings.

In 1998 he wrote a booklet entitled "Practical Aspects of TCI" - part of AstraZeneca's Anaesthesia Rounds series. A 2nd Edition was published in 2002 with new case presentations, and video clips on an accompanying CD. Practical Aspects was further revised in 2007 in preparation for the subsequent World Congress. Following the retirement of Professor Kenny, Totally TIVA moved to London, with a meeting at the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

SIVA-UK started as a small venture from an initial meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. It has now grown into a world-wide respected body with speakers willing to come from throughout Europe and the United States of America. All societies depend on the enthusiasm, willingness and support from the members and most importantly of the officers and committee. Over his time Dr Russell has displayed all of these. The Society owes much of its development directly to his endeavours, and sincerely hopes that he will continue to offer support and advice when asked. Long-term experience of how to address specific issues are vital in societies like ours; Douglas had several during his time on the committee and as President.

He fully deserves his award of honorary membership of the UK Society for Intravenous Anaesthesia.


Professor John Sear, Oxford