World-Famous Surgeon, Dr. Nelson M. Percy (1875-1958)
Developer of the Percy System of Whole Blood Transfusion
Nelson Mortimer Percy was born in Dexter, Iowa, in 1875 to Mortimer and Mary (Amidon) Percy. Founded in 1868, Dexter is a small town in central Iowa, in the southwest corner of Dallas County. Nelson attended Dexter public schools, graduating in 1892.
In 1899 Nelson Percy graduated Rush Medical College and interned at Augustana Hospital, becoming assistant to the chief surgeon, Dr. Albert J. Ochsner. The two men published A New Clinical Surgery in 1912. Dr. Percy became chief surgeon there in 1925, and chief of staff in 1935. He perfected the Percy Method of Whole Blood Transfusion (consisting of running a tube directly from the donor’s vein to the person needing blood), used by Chicago hospitals before WWII.
Dr. Percy was also a professor of clinical surgery at the University of Illinois.
During WWI, Dr. Percy organized the US Base Hospital No. 11 in France, serving as Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Corps and as surgical director there. He became President of the Chicago Surgical Association in 1925, and also head of the American Goiter Association.
Dr. Percy became Chief of Staff at the Augustana Hospital, Chicago in 1936.
Dr. Nelson M. Percy died October 10, 1958 in Chicago. He is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery, Skokie, Illinois.
For more information:
Albert John Ochsner and Nelson Mortimer Percy. A New Clinical Surgery. Chicago: Cleveland Press, 1912. Available on Google Books.
Albert John Ochsner and Nelson Mortimer Percy. A New Manual of Surgery, Civil and Military. Chicago: Cleveland Press, 1917. Available on Google Books.
History of Dexter, Iowa: Centennial 1868-1968, p. 107.
History of Medicine and Surgery and Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago, Chicago: The Biographical Publishing Corporation, 1922, p. 746. Available on Google Books.
Official Reference Book of Press Club of Chicago. Chicago: The Press Club, 1922, page 10. Available on Google Books.
U.S. Army Office of Medical History, U.S. Army Medical Department, Chapter XXIV, Base Hospitals, pages 638f.
The WPA Guide to 1930s Iowa: p. 494, Tour of Dexter, Iowa. Preview Available on Google Books.