Journal of Pediatric Health Care and Medicine

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Dr. Isaac Henry Gosset: Northampton’s first Consultant Paediatrician and Inventor of The ‘Gosset’ Icterometer

Author(s): Frederick J O’Dell* and Andrew N Williams

Dr. Isaac Henry ‘Harry’ Gosset (1907-1965), was the first paediatrician for Northampton General Hospital, being appointed consultant in 1947. He had responsibility for general child health and neonatal care. His initial training took place in Oxford and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, followed by a period of general practice before starting in paediatrics. He volunteered for the RAF at the commencement of World War Two and rose to the rank of wing commander. Following demobilisation he commenced postgraduate training with Great Ormond Street Hospital prior to his appointment at Northampton. He spent many years researching dominant laterality making hunDr.eds of studies on large groups of chilDr.en until he proved to himself the fallacy of crossed laterality. In 1954 he conceived and invented the ‘Gosset icterometer, a device for estimating serum bilirubin so avoiding a blood test. His icterometer was used in many countries around the world. He also developed two premature baby units at Northampton General Hospital, the replacement for the previous one opened just three weeks after his death and was renamed the ‘Gosset Ward’ in his memory. He was instrumental in building up an outstanding paediatric service putting Northampton well ahead of most provincial hospitals.


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