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Biographical entry Childs, Christopher Michael (1945 - 1988)

MRCS and FRCS 1979; MB ChB Aberdeen 1971; MD 1974.

October 1945
27 December 1988
Diving specialist


Christopher Michael Childs was born in Plymouth in October 1945, the son of John Peter Childs, FRCS, surgeon to Plymouth General Hospital. After his early education he went to Aberdeen University intending initially to read biology but later transferring to the medical school and qualifying in 1971. From an early age he was interested in research and spent time in Uppsala studying the microcirculation before returning to Aberdeen as senior house officer to the professorial surgical unit. This stage of his career coincided with the development of the North Sea oil and gas industry and he developed an interest in the problems encountered by divers engaged in this work and the medical care of staff on the oil rigs. He was awarded the MD in 1974 and passed the Fellowship five years later.

His main interest was in diving medicine, but in addition he helped to establish the basic principles of offshore medicine and was appointed consultant in diving medicine and senior lecturer in the Institute of Environment and Offshore Medicine in the University of Aberdeen. He contributed extensively to the published work on this subject and was a member of the Diving Medical Advisory Committee of Great Britain. Perhaps his most exotic task was to provide medical cover during the recovery of gold from HMS Edinburgh in the Arctic Ocean.

At the age of 43 he was afflicted with a cerebral tumour, but his enthusiasm for work was such that he continued to practise until the last few days of his life. He died on 27 December 1988 and is survived by his father, his sister and brother.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1989, 298, 518 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England