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Biographical entry Price, David John Everard (1935 - 2014)

MB BS London 1958; FRCS 1967.

9 April 1935
30 March 2014


David Price was a consultant neurosurgeon at the General Infirmary at Leeds and also at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield. He was born on 9 April 1935 in Northampton, the younger son of Arthur Joseph Price, an education officer, and Ruby Kate Price (née Smart), a housewife. He attended Northampton Grammar School and then went to St Bartholomew's to study medicine, qualifying in 1958. Early in his undergraduate training his older brother Roger was involved in a motor cycle accident and died as a result of his head injuries: this no doubt influenced David's decision to become a neurosurgeon.

He completed his house officer posts at Bart's and then became officer in charge of the Army head injury unit at Colchester Military Hospital during his two years of National Service. He then returned to Bart's under Gerard Taylor in vascular surgery and gained his fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1967. He continued his interest in head injuries at the Birmingham Accident Hospital, and during that time carried out research on the effects of hypoxia, hypotension and delayed surgery on outcome. He completed his neurosurgical training at the West of Scotland Neurosurgical Unit in Glasgow.

He was appointed to his consultant post in Yorkshire in 1972, and was also an honorary clinical lecturer at Leeds University. He continued his interest in the critical and later care of the head injured patient. He served on the council and later became president of the Intensive Care Society. He was a founder trustee of Headway (the National Head Injuries Association) and was a member of the management committee for almost 20 years. He established Second Chance, a local head injury support group affiliated to Headway, in Wakefield. This charity flourished under his 20-year care and remains an active day centre for the support of head injured patients. He was a life fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.

He maintained an active clinical practice with special interest and expertise in trigeminal neuralgia, the medical management of epilepsy and normal pressure hydrocephalus. He had a great interest in computing and wrote his own interactive software programmes in BASIC, an early computer language. He brought this technology into clinical practice and for 10 years from 1975 programmed a mini computer to control intracranial pressure automatically with a mannitol infusion in an automatic closed loop. He also developed computer-assisted infusion studies for the diagnosis of hydrocephalus. He forged links with Warsaw University of Technology, studying intracranial pressure in hundreds of head injury patients. He published over 80 papers on these subjects and contributed to some 20 medical text books. He attended and contributed to many national and international medical and computer conferences.

In addition to his clinical and research activities, David had a busy medico-legal practice that he continued after his retirement from clinical practice in 1997. He was always conscious of the long-term effects of traumatic brain damage and aimed to support those suffering personal injuries and their carers.

David was a most polite and charming man. He was a meticulous trainer of surgical technique and very supportive to his many trainees. He had few hobbies, but was dedicated to his 1953 MG TD British racing green sports car, which he maintained throughout his lifetime. He was dedicated to his work and as such his early marriages initially to Patience ('Bunty') in 1964 and Mavis in 1975 did not survive. He married Janis in 1989. He had two sons, Toby from his first marriage and Jolyon from his third. He suffered a throat malignancy in later years which restricted his diet, but not his enthusiasm and activities. David Price died on 30 March 2014, aged 78.

Philip van Hille

The Royal College of Surgeons of England