- Best known for his work on rheumatic and coronary heart disease.
- He made important studies of rheumatic fever describing the diastolic murmur of acute rheumatic mitral valvulitis (Carey-Coombs murmur) and taking a great interest in the prevention and management of heart disease in children.
- Born 1879 Castle Cary, Somerset, UK.
- 1901- graduated from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School having been awarded prizes in Medicine, Surgery, Pathology, Hygiene, Forensic Medicine and Psychological Medicine
- 1903- became Medical Registrar at St Mary’s Hospital.
- 1904- left London to become and General Practitioner.
- 905- became Registrar at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
- 1917- became Fellow of Royal College of Physicians.
- 1920 – became physician at Bristol General Hospital.
- 920- part of a group of Consultants who set up the Cardiac Club, the forerunner of the British Cardiac Society
- 927- became director of the Bristol University Centre of Cardiac Research.
- During First World War served in the Royal Army Medical Corps and was posted to Europe, Egypt, Iraq and India, which he expressed concern in the lack of continuity of his research.
- 1932- died following a cardiac event at the age of 53.
Key Medical Attributions:
- Influential in the study of both coronary thrombosis and rheumatic heart disease. Prior to his death he had documented 144 cases of coronary thrombosis.
- He was invited by Dr Frederick Poynton to develop an interest in rheumatic heart disease and during his work at Bristol Children’s Hospital, compiled research into valvular heart disease in children and noted a specific diastolic murmur.
- Most famously known for the Carey-Coombs murmur which is now largely obsolete due to the eradication of rheumatic heart disease.
- Carey-Coombs murmur: short mid-diastolic murmur caused by active rheumatic carditis with mitral-valve inflammation
- Short soft, mid diastolic murmur due to vegetations on the mitral valve, usually heard in the context of rheumatic fever and generally improves as the valvulitis improves. Clinically can be distinguished from the murmur of mitral stenosis by the absence of an opening snap.
- He described it in 1907 as : “Next the apical second sound becomes doubled and then, but often not till some time after, a murmur is added to the second half of this second sound. This, hard to distinguish at first, lengthens and strengthens till at last it runs into the beginning of the next cycle, becoming, in fact, a pre- systolic murmur. This is not as rough and loud as that of mitral obstruction and it is not due to valvular disease.
- Coombs C. Some Clinical Aspects of the Rheumatic Infection. 1904
- Coombs C. Rheumatic carditis in childhood, 1907
- Coombs C. Rheumatic Heart Disease. 1924
- Coombs C. Prognosis in Coronary Thrombosis. 1932
- Any gossip
- Besterman EMM. Phonocardiography in acute rheumatic carditis. Br Heart J 1955;17:360-72.
- Weston CF. Carey Franklin Coombs 1879-1932. Bristol Med Chir J. 1989 Nov;104(4):97-103.[PMC5113506]
- Carey Franklin Coombs 1879-1932 . Mitral Valve.
- Wood P. Discussion of the management of rheumatic fever and its early complications. Proc R Soc Med 1950;43:195-9.
- Ma I, Tierney LM. Name that murmur–eponyms for the astute auscultician. N Engl J Med. 2010 Nov 25;363(22):2164-8.[PMID 21105801]
- Malik PK, Ahmad M, Rani A, Dwivedi S. The men who picked the truant notes in heart sounds. Astrocyte 2015;1:305-8. [PDF]
LITFL Related Links
- Biographical Medical Eponyms – A-Z of eponymous medical pioneers
- Eponymictionary – Searchable Eponymictionary Database
- Medical Eponyms – A-Z of signs, syndromes, diseases and classifications
- Orthopaedic Eponyms – Eponymous orthopedic fractures and classifications
- Cardiac Eponyms – Eponymous cardiology collection