Newly Published
SPECIAL ARTICLE  |   April 2018
History of the Development of Anesthesia for the Dolphin: A Quest to Study a Brain as Large as Man’s
Author Notes
  • From Aerospace, Hyperbaric and Undersea Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (J.G.M.)
  • Department of Pathology, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California (S.H.R.)
  • National Marine Mammal Foundation, San Diego, California (S.H.R.).
  • Submitted for publication November 16, 2017. Accepted for publication March 9, 2018.
    Submitted for publication November 16, 2017. Accepted for publication March 9, 2018.×
  • Acknowledgments: The authors are indebted to Raymond C. Roy, Ph.D., M.D., former Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), for review of our manuscript, and to Michael A. Olympio, M.D., Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, for invaluable discussion on the history of the development of the Bird Mark 9 Dolphin Apneustic Control Respirator. For invaluable discussion and insights into the special interdisciplinary philosophy of Robert Dripps, M.D., former Chair of Anesthesiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), we thank his former resident, Francis M. James III, M.D., who is the former Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. In the same vein, we thank former Professor and Chair of Veterinary Anesthesiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Lawrence R. Soma, V.M.D. Dr. Soma did 1 yr of human anesthesiology residency under Dr. Dripps. Dianna Samuelson Dibble, research assistant with the Neurobiology Group of the National Marine Mammal Foundation (San Diego, California), is responsible for the excellent photographic presentation of the dolphin and human brains in figure 1. We thank William G. Gilmartin of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Facility (San Diego, California) for making the original dolphin/human brain photograph in figure 1. Special thanks to Katie Van Alstyne of the Neurobiology Group of the National Marine Mammal Foundation, who made excellent color enhancements in the dolphin cross-section shown in figure 3, as well as creating the labeling of figure 3. Thanks to James Bailey, D.V.M., M.S., D.A.C.V.A.A., president and founder of Innovative Veterinary Medicine, Inc. (USA), for providing the photograph of the prototype DolVent dolphin respirator in figure 11. The authors thank Ms. Sandra Key Bailey of the Editorial Section in the Department of Anesthesiology of Wake Forest Medical School, and Tomas Debinski, for much appreciated and invaluable editorial assistance. This article is dedicated to Nobel Prize Nominated Professor E. G. Wever of Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey), who brought us together for a lifetime of fruitful collaboration.
    Acknowledgments: The authors are indebted to Raymond C. Roy, Ph.D., M.D., former Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), for review of our manuscript, and to Michael A. Olympio, M.D., Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, for invaluable discussion on the history of the development of the Bird Mark 9 Dolphin Apneustic Control Respirator. For invaluable discussion and insights into the special interdisciplinary philosophy of Robert Dripps, M.D., former Chair of Anesthesiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), we thank his former resident, Francis M. James III, M.D., who is the former Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. In the same vein, we thank former Professor and Chair of Veterinary Anesthesiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Lawrence R. Soma, V.M.D. Dr. Soma did 1 yr of human anesthesiology residency under Dr. Dripps. Dianna Samuelson Dibble, research assistant with the Neurobiology Group of the National Marine Mammal Foundation (San Diego, California), is responsible for the excellent photographic presentation of the dolphin and human brains in figure 1. We thank William G. Gilmartin of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Facility (San Diego, California) for making the original dolphin/human brain photograph in figure 1. Special thanks to Katie Van Alstyne of the Neurobiology Group of the National Marine Mammal Foundation, who made excellent color enhancements in the dolphin cross-section shown in figure 3, as well as creating the labeling of figure 3. Thanks to James Bailey, D.V.M., M.S., D.A.C.V.A.A., president and founder of Innovative Veterinary Medicine, Inc. (USA), for providing the photograph of the prototype DolVent dolphin respirator in figure 11. The authors thank Ms. Sandra Key Bailey of the Editorial Section in the Department of Anesthesiology of Wake Forest Medical School, and Tomas Debinski, for much appreciated and invaluable editorial assistance. This article is dedicated to Nobel Prize Nominated Professor E. G. Wever of Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey), who brought us together for a lifetime of fruitful collaboration.×
  • Research Support: Dr. McCormick has received funds from the Office of Naval Research (Arlington, Virginia) “Anesthesia Ventilator for Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions,” Navy STTR FY2014A – Topic N14A-T015. His research on hyperbaric oxygen for stroke is supported by funds from the Winston-Salem, North Carolina Foundation (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), and the Navy Diving Department NAVSEA (Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.). Dr. Ridgway is also supported by funds from the Anesthesia Ventilator for Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions, Navy STTR FY2014A – Topic N14A-T015.
    Research Support: Dr. McCormick has received funds from the Office of Naval Research (Arlington, Virginia) “Anesthesia Ventilator for Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions,” Navy STTR FY2014A – Topic N14A-T015. His research on hyperbaric oxygen for stroke is supported by funds from the Winston-Salem, North Carolina Foundation (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), and the Navy Diving Department NAVSEA (Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.). Dr. Ridgway is also supported by funds from the Anesthesia Ventilator for Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions, Navy STTR FY2014A – Topic N14A-T015.×
  • Competing Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.
    Competing Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.×
  • Correspondence: Address correspondence to Dr. McCormick: Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1009. jmccormi@wakehealth.edu. Information on purchasing reprints may be found at www.anesthesiology.org or on the masthead page at the beginning of this issue. Anesthesiology’s articles are made freely accessible to all readers, for personal use only, 6 months from the cover date of the issue.
Article Information
Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems
SPECIAL ARTICLE   |   April 2018
History of the Development of Anesthesia for the Dolphin: A Quest to Study a Brain as Large as Man’s
Anesthesiology Newly Published on April 16, 2018. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002213
Anesthesiology Newly Published on April 16, 2018. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002213
Abstract

It is important for academic-minded human anesthesiologists to have an interdisciplinary perspective when engaging in cutting-edge research as well as the practice of human anesthesiology. This was a philosophy promoted by Dr. Robert Dripps, former pioneering Chairman of the Anesthesiology Department at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Many human and veterinary anesthesiologists as well as biomedical engineers and neuroscientists benefited from Dr. Dripps’s constructive outlook personified in the quest to develop dolphin anesthesiology.

The motivation to anesthetize dolphins came from the fact that scientists and physicians wanted to study the brain of the dolphin, a brain as large as man’s. Also, investigators wanted to develop anesthesia for the dolphin in order to study the electrophysiology of the dolphin’s highly sophisticated auditory system, which facilitates the dolphin’s amazing echolocation capability.

Dolphin anesthesia involves a complex matter of unique neural control, airway anatomy, neuromuscular control of respiration, and sleep behavior.