May 3, 2004 by

Sylvan Stool

1 comment

Categories: Medicine, Military

Dr. Sylvan E. Stool, one of the first pediatric ear, nose and throat doctors, died on April 11. Cause of death was not released. He was 78.

Stool attended medical school in Texas then joined the Air Force and spent two years stationed in the Far East and South Pacific. When he returned to the states, he launched an illustrious medical career that involved running a private practice in Denver, spending two decades at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, teaching pediatric medicine at the University of Colorado and working in otolaryngology at Children’s Hospital in Denver.

In 1968, Stool earned an international reputation for his breakthrough discovery of a procedure that made performing tracheotomies on children safer. This procedure saved countless lives and remains the standard of care today.

Stool traveled all over the world to teach doctors how to protect a child’s airway and how to use a pneumatic scope to diagnose middle-ear infections. The author of more than 150 articles and a past president of the Society for Ear, Nose and Throat Advances in Children (SENTAC), Stool received the award of merit and the humanitarian award from the American Academy of Otolaryngology. SENTAC also named its annual award for outstanding lifetime contributions for the care of children in his honor.

One Response to Sylvan Stool

  1. Marlyn Kemper Littman

    Sylvan was a beloved friend and mentor to my first husband, Bennett (Ben) Kemper, M.D. Shortly after Ben opened his ENT practice in Fort Lauderdale, Ben passed away in 1987.
    Ben did his internship and residency under Sylvan’s guidance at CHOP and then at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). Sylvan remained in touch with me and my family during and after Ben’s death for which I shall be forever grateful.
    Sylvan’s enthusiasm for all kinds of research whether in Pediatric ENT or in anthropology led me to complete my M.A. in Anthropology at Temple University and to do my M.A. dissertation on Joseph Hyrtl and the marvelous collection of inner ear specimens Hyrtel collected. At the time of my research, the Hyrtl collection was at the Mutter Museum at the Library of the College of Physicians. When Von Bekesy came to Philadelphia to view the Hyrtl collection at the Mutter Museum, the Museum’s door was locked and the staff at the time literally had to break in but this did not deter them from making the collection available for von Bekesy to see and enjoy.
    When Ben applied to CHOP for his internship, Sylvan and June opened their home to us and took us on a tour of
    Philadelphia and that marked the beginning of a wonderful
    friendship that spanned the decades.
    When I subsequently remarried, Sylvan and June met my husband Rabbi Lew Littman on a visit to Fort Lauderdale and made Lew a part of their beautiful and loving family as well.
    As a consequence of Sylvan’s encouragement and mentorship. I subsequently earned a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences and was subsequently appointed Professor at Nova Southeastern University Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences.
    I am grateful for this opportunity to share my memories with Sylvan’s family.
    Marlyn

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