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Sando, Maurice James (1930–1984)

by J. E. Gilligan

This article was published:

Maurice James Wilson Sando (1930-1984), anaesthetist, was born on 23 January 1930 at Cumnock, New South Wales, son of New South Wales-born Harry Wilson Sando, shire engineer, and his Victorian-born wife Willa Elizabeth, née Johnston. Maurice attended Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore) and studied medicine at the University of Adelaide (MB, BS, 1953). On 12 February 1954 at Christ Church, North Adelaide, he married with Church of England rites Margaret Helene Rogasch, a laboratory assistant.

After working as a resident medical officer at Royal Adelaide Hospital, in 1954 Sando travelled to England to undertake anaesthesia training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Rochester, Kent. In 1955 he was awarded the Nuffield prize for the highest mark in the primary examination for fellowship of the faculty of anaesthetists, Royal College of Surgeons of England. Following a stint at Southend General Hospital, Essex, he returned to Adelaide in 1957, obtained the fellowship of the faculty of anaesthetists of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and entered private practice.

Appointed director of anaesthesia at RAH in 1962, Sando saw clearly the contribution that anaesthesia could make to the developing specialty of intensive care and, under his tutelage, the department extended its role to become the department of anaesthesia and intensive care. Awarded a Churchill fellowship in 1966, he investigated progress overseas in the design of intensive-care units and incorporated his findings in the hospital’s expansion plans. For many years he was involved in the governance of the hospital; he was chairman of the RAH medical staff society in 1976-78.

Sando was a member (1961-80) of the State committee of the faculty of anaesthetists, RACS, including terms as secretary and chairman. A board member (1967-80) of the national faculty, chairman of the executive in 1975 and dean in 1978-80, he played a key role in developing educational programs and examination systems for the specialty. In 1965 he had been appointed to the court of examiners for the final fellowship examination. His emphasis on the importance of the basic sciences resulted in his becoming in 1968 an examiner in physiology for the primary examination. He chaired the primary examination committee (1970-74) and examinations for the whole faculty (1974-75).

Involved in medical politics generally, in 1973-74 Sando was president of the South Australian branch council of the Australian Medical Association and a member (1974-75) of the federal council. He was elected a fellow of the AMA in 1974. Also a member (1974-82) of the Medical Board of South Australia, he was chairman (1978-84) of the State’s Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service.

Sando was a gifted clinician, a superb teacher and an effective administrator, who always made time to discuss problems with those who sought his guidance and help. He had a clear vision for the development of anaesthesia and intensive care, and pursued this end with remarkable energy. The Australasian College of Surgeons inducted him into its court of honour in 1980 and the faculty of anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons of England elected him a fellow in 1982. During periods of relaxation he showed considerable talent as a pianist. He retired in 1982, due to ill health, and was appointed OBE the same year. Survived by his wife and their son, he died of a bleeding aneurysm of the aorta on 24 February 1984 at his Linden Park home and was cremated. He was awarded the RACS’s Robert Orton medal in 1985. The inaugural chair of anaesthesia and intensive care at the University of Adelaide was named after him in 1986.

Select Bibliography

  • Bulletin (Australian and NZ College of Anaesthetists), July 2007, p 18
  • private information.

Citation details

J. E. Gilligan, 'Sando, Maurice James (1930–1984)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 2012, accessed online 29 June 2022.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (Melbourne University Press), 2012

View the front pages for Volume 18

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