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NHS Greater Glasgow
and Clyde Archives

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Professor Murdoch Cameron

Murdoch Cameron was one of the people responsible for the revival and development of the caesarean section. He transformed it from a rarely used procedure that was normally fatal for the mother to a ‘routine’ operation. His successful operations, performed in the Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital from 1888 onwards, proved that the caesarean technique could be a safe and standard one.

Born in Glasgow in 1845 Cameron qualified MD from the University of Glasgow in 1872. He began to specialise in obstetrics, his work in his practice in the Townhead district of the city being noted by his peers. In 1878 he was appointed Physician Accoucheur to the Western Infirmary. In 1888 he became Obstetric Physician to the Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital.


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Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 45)

The NHSGCB Archive holds the minutes of the meetings of the Directors of the hospital and its various committees for the period when Cameron was Obstetric Physician. Cameron was an active member of the hospital staff, raising large amounts of money for new buildings and general improvements.

  • 1882–1916; Directors meetings  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 45/1/3–5)
  • 1885–1916; House committee  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 45/1/8–12)
  • 1911–1930; Directors and committees  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 45/1/13–31)

The annual reports of the hospital include medical reports (written by Cameron) which give details of the number of caesarean sections carried out each year:

  • 1884–1930; Annual reports  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 45/3/3–7)

The pioneering caesarean sections carried out by Cameron are recorded in:

  • 1881–1898; Register of patients, Obstetrical Department, Indoor  (NHSGGCA Ref: HB 45/5/16)

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