Dr. Nelson M. Percy (1875- )

World famous Surgeon

Developer of the Percy System of Whole Blood Transfusion

Dr. Percy was born in Dexter, Iowa, in 1875. He attended Dexter Public schools, graduating in 1892.

Dexter is a small town in central Iowa, in the southwest corner of Dallas County. Founded in 1868, Dexter’s population never exceeded 790 souls. When Nelson Percy was in high school there, Dexter had only 607 residents.

And yet, this young man from such a small town went on to medical college. In 1899 he graduated Rush Medical College, and interned at Augustana Hospital becoming assistant to the chief surgeon, Dr. Albert J. Ochsner. The two men published 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, and development of the plasma technique.

During WWI, Dr. Percy organized the US Base Hospital in France, becoming surgical director there. He became President of the Chicago Surgical Association in 1925, and also head of the American Goiter Association.

He became Chief of Staff at the Augustana Hospital, Chicago in 1936.

A New Clinical Surgery by Albert John Ochsner and Nelson Mortimer Percy

A New Manual of Surgery, Civil and Military, also by Ochsner and Percy

Percy, Dr.
History of Dexter, Iowa, 1968, page 107.

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