- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Henry Robert Silvester

Born  1829
Died  1908

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English physician, born 1829, London; died March 1908.

Biography of Henry Robert Silvester

Henry Robert Silvester attended the King’s College in London. He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1853 and in 1855 obtained his medical doctorate at the University of London. He subsequently worked as an associate at the King’s College and consulting physician to the Clapham General Dispensary. In 1883 he received the golden Fothergill medal (worth 50 Guineas) from the Royal Humane Society, to which he was medical assistant at Clapham.

Silvester was the inventor of hypodermic inflation, a method for making men and animals unsinkable.


  • The discovery of the physiological method of inducing respiration in cases of apparent death from drowning, chloroform, still birth etc.
    London, 1858; 3rd edition in 1863 with his description of the procedure named for him for artificial reliving people apparently dead.
  • A new method of resuscitating still-born children, and for restoring persons apparently drowned or dead. British Medical Journal, 1858: 576-579.
  • Physiological method of treating incipient consumption.
  • The discovery of the nature of the spleen from an investigation of the lateral homologies of the liver, stomach, and alimentary canal. 1870.
  • Contributions to the science of teratology. Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, London.
  • A new method of inducing respiration in asphyxia by mechanically bringing into action the muscles of respiration, with successful cases.
    Medical Times and Gazette, London; British Medical Journal, London.

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