Dr. John Bentson, Who Invented a Better Brain-Imaging Tool, Dies at 83


This obituary is a part of a collection about individuals who have died within the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others right here.

In the early Seventies, the sector of neuroradiology was nonetheless in its early life, and amongst its early practitioners was Dr. John Bentson, at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. As he helped sufferers with the help of new know-how just like the CT scan and laptop imaging, he noticed a chance for innovation.

A subspecialty of radiology, neuroradiology includes diagnosing and treating illnesses within the mind, spinal wire and nerves. One of the instruments utilized in therapy is the mix of an angiographic guidewire and catheter, basically a slender wire and tube; inserted by way of the leg, it might support with the injection of distinction dye for diagnostic mind imaging and the therapy of aneurysms. At the time, nonetheless, guidewires had been inflexible, and at worst, might injure a blood vessel. Mr. Bentson determined to design a greater kind.

He conceived of a extra supple guidewire that additionally featured a versatile tip, and after UCLA constructed an early prototype for him, different neuroradiologists began utilizing his mannequin. Cook Medical started manufacturing the gadget in 1973 and, nonetheless in use right now, it’s generally often known as a Bentson informationwire.

Mr. Bentson died on Dec. 28 at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 83. The trigger was problems of Covid-19, his daughter Dr. Erika Drazan stated.

“He appreciated to push boundaries if he thought he might assist the affected person,” she stated. “He appreciated saying that the vessels within the physique are identical to a tree and that he might get the place he needed by way of them by really feel.”

Thousands of sufferers have benefited from his innovation, The American Society of Neuroradiology stated after his dying.

John Reinert Bentson was born on May 15, 1937, in Viroqua, Wis., to Carl and Stella (Hagen) Bentson, who had been of Norwegian heritage. He was raised on his household’s dairy farm and as a boy traveled to high school throughout winter on picket skis. His mom ready Norwegian fare like lutefisk.

A grandfather inspired him to go away the farm and pursue increased schooling. Mr. Bentson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in chemistry in 1957 and earned his M.D. at its medical faculty in 1961.

He traveled to the rain forests of Peru in 1965 as a medic on a missionary workforce, and a tribe he labored there with taught him easy methods to hunt with a spear. He served as a radiologist within the U.S. Army in South Korea and he explored the nation in his spare time on a bike. He married Sheridan Murphy in 1969.

That 12 months, Mr. Bentson joined the UCLA Medical Center, and he grew to become the chief of its neuroradiology division in 1971. He held the place for 3 a long time till he stepped down in 2002 however continued to work on the hospital earlier than retiring in 2014.

In addition to his daughter, who’s a pediatrician, he’s survived by his spouse; one other daughter, Krista; a son, Derek; and 6 grandchildren.

Mr. Bentson didn’t trademark the gadget named after him and by no means profited a lot. He harbored no regrets although, stated his daughter, and he was glad to know that his gadget continued to assist individuals. A couple of years in the past, she bumped into somebody who works for Cook Medical.

“My dad invented that information wire you promote,” she stated.

“Your dad is John Bentson?” he replied.

The firm quickly despatched Mr. Bentson a shock package deal: a glass show containing a coiled Bentson guidewire together with an inscription thanking him for his contributions to neuroradiology. Mr. Bentson hung the plaque on his wall.



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