Queen's University Belfast

Invention of the portable defibrillator

The late Frank Pantridge, who was a Professor at Queen’s University Belfast, was known as the ‘father of emergency medicine’ and invented the portable defibrillator in 1965.

The device has saved innumerable lives around the world since Pantridge first developed his prototype using two car batteries and weighing 70 kilos. Pantridge installed the portable defibrillator in an ambulance, thus creating the pre-hospital coronary care unit known as the Pantridge Plan.

This plan was used on President Lyndon Johnson when he suffered a heart attack while on a visit to Virginia in 1972. 

Further reading