February 23, 1929 – January 17, 2020
Bernard J. Brandstater ’51-Aff was born in Perth, Australia on Feb. 23, 1929. He passed peacefully to his rest on Jan. 17, 2020. In 1945 Bernard was accepted into the Adelaide Medical School on a full academic scholarship. Following graduation and internship, Dr. Brandstater was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 1952 for postgraduate study in the United States. He completed residency training in anesthesiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and continued post-residency training in London at St. Thomas’ Hospital and Eastman Dental Hospital. Later, he spent one year as a research fellow in the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of San Francisco.
In 1956 Dr. Brandstater joined the faculty of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon as an anesthesiologist. He was later appointed Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology. During his 13 years at the AUB, Dr. Brandstater started a residency program, organized the first international anesthesiology conference in Beirut, and inaugurated a new journal, the Middle East Journal of Anesthesiology.
In Beirut, Dr. Brandstater was most noted for introducing epidural analgesia during childbirth and designing a disposable catheter for the procedure. He also pioneered a life-saving intervention for neonatal tetanus using sedation with prolonged endotracheal intubation and positive pressure mechanical respiration. The techniques he initiated paved the way for the subsequent development of neonatal intensive care.
In 1969 Dr. Brandstater accepted a position at Loma Linda University as professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, and in 1971 was appointed chairman. He successfully recruited faculty and built a strong department, expanding the residency program and establishing research. He was fully engaged with other faculty in renewing the spiritual vision of Loma Linda University. He was active in the University Church where he served as head elder and started the young adult sabbath school.
Dr. Brandstater was a hard-working, resourceful, innovative, and committed leader. But much of his success in life was due to his personal qualities of warmth, compassion, and his constant cheerful disposition. Those who were fortunate to know him, loved him. His big heart, love for life, and sharp Australian wit will be greatly missed. But mostly, his life so joyfully lived will be warmly remembered.
Dr. Brandstater is survived by his wife Beverly; his children, Suzanne Thomas, Kerry Roland, Nigel S. Brandstater ‘85, and Elizabeth; brother, Dr. Murray Brandstater; sister, Lynette Bellville; and six grandchildren.
(Source: Family of Dr. Brandstater)