Juan Pedro Garrahan (1893-1965)
(The Southern Cross, Número del Centenario)
(1893-1968), physician and paediatrician, was born on 24
September 1893 in Buenos Aires, the eldest son of Juan Garrahan
(1855-1919), first city major at General Rodríguez, and Virginia
Ramona Nóbile (d. 1941). Juan Garrahan was the fifth son of
Patrick Garrahan (1805-1870) of Co. Westmeath, and Anne Kenny
Garrahan was sent to the Lacordaire school of the Dominican
Fathers, where he completed his secondary school at the early
age of fifteen. In 1908, Garrahan entered the school of medicine
at the University of Buenos Aires. In 1915 he graduated with
honours at twenty-two. Juan P. Garrahan was resident doctor in
the Rawson hospital and then in the Clinics hospital, where he
worked in the children surgical service and paediatric clinic.
Garrahan spent almost his entire career in the paediatrics
school of Clinics hospital, which he joined at twenty-one as the
clinics principal, and from where he retired as professor. Juan
P. Garrahan was associate professor of paediatric clinic
(1923-1924), newborn care (1925-1926), paediatric clinic and
newborns (1927-1939), invited professor (1939-1942), professor
and director of the paediatrics and newborn care institute at
the Clinics hospital (1942-1945), and professor of paediatrics
(1956-1962). Additionally, in 1929 he was Inspector of the
physician team for Buenos Aires public schools. In 1958 Garrahan
was appointed member of the national medicine academy (1958).
After his retirement, Garrahan organised the paediatrics service
at the Buenos Aires German hospital. On 9 June 1924 Garrahan
married María Rosa, née Prando. They had two sons, Juan David
Alberto Garrahan and Patricio José Garrahan, and a daughter,
María Teresa Virginia Garrahan.
well-known for demanding excellence from his students. He had a
particular interest in improving the resources for diagnosis
support so as to avoid annoying his patients with intrusive
procedures. His innovative paediatric treatments, particularly
in his professional practise, were recognised by the paediatric
community. Garrahan worked in the Clinics hospital (1915-1925),
Rivadavia hospital (1923-1927), weak children school N°1
(1924-1929), newborn department of the medical institute
(director 1928-1942), hygiene and microbiology society
(President 1923-1924), and nipiology society (1929-1930).
However, his most important contribution was the creation of the
newborn ward in Rivadavia hospital, which was named after him.
In 1923, Juan
Pedro Garrahan was appointed director of the above-mentioned
newborn service. Later in 1942, after sixteen years of
experience as professor, he was appointed professor of
paediatrics at the school of medicine. In 1945 he decided for
political reasons to give up the chair, but he resumed in 1955.
He wrote numerous scientific papers, some of them published by
Archivos de Pediatría of the Argentine paediatrics
society. His most important publication was Medicina Infantil,
a classic reference still in use in Argentina and Spain (now
titled Pediatría y Puericultura). It is not a traditional
scientific book, but a practical guide for rural physicians, who
need to understand all areas of practise. Other well-known
publication was La Salud del Hijo, successfully addressed
to parents. Other works: La Pediatría: Ciencia y Arte,
Vitamina K en Pediatría, Lecciones de Pediatría. Among
other institutions, Dr. Garrahan was a member of paediatrics
societies in Madrid, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and University of
Garrahan died on 3 April 1965. In 1979, the national health
service changed the National Paediatrics Hospital to "Hospital
Dr. Juan Pedro Garrahan".
- Argirópolis: Periódico Universitario (www.argiropolis.com.ar/ameghino/biografias/garra.htm),
accessed 23 May 2003.
Coghlan, Eduardo A., Los Irlandeses en la Argentina: Su Actuación y Descendencia (Buenos Aires, 1987), p.
Communications with Dr. Patricio J. Garrahan (16 May 2003).