Orvan Hess (Doctor) – Bio, Birthday, Family, Age & Born


Orvan Walter Hess was an American physician noted for his early use of penicillin and the development of the fetal heart monitor. Hess was born in Baoba, Pennsylvania. At the age of two, after his mother’s death, the family moved to Margaretville, New York where he grew up. Hess was inspired by Doctor Gordon Bostwick Maurer—who started Margaretville’s first hospital in 1925— to study medicine. He married Dr. Maurer’s sister, Carol Maurer, in 1928. Hess went to Lafayette College and was graduated in 1927, and received his MD from the University at Buffalo. He completed an internship at Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, New York and became an obstetrician and gynecologist. For most of his career, Hess practiced at Yale-New Haven Hospital, interrupted by World War II service as a surgeon in the 48th Armored Medical Battalion attached to the 2nd Armored Division in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Normandy.

Born: June 18, 1906, Baoba, Pennsylvania
Died: September 6, 2002, New Haven, Connecticut
Fields: Medicine, (obstetrics and gynaecology)
Institutions: Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale School of Medicine
Alma mater: Lafayette College, University at Buffalo
Known for: Penicillin, Fetal heart monitor
Notable awards: AMA Scientific Achievement Award

About Orvan Hess

Inventor of the first fetal heart monitor who was the first doctor to successfully use penicillin in treatment.

Before Fame

His invention was borne out a desire to figure out a way to separate the baby’s heartbeat from the mother’s, which was impossible with a stethoscope.


Next to ultrasound, his fetal heart monitor is probably the most widely used device in delivery rooms.

Family Life

He had two daughters with his wife, Carol Maurer.


Like Carl Wood, who perfected the IVF technique, Hess helped childbirth become easier and less dangerous.

Information related to Orvan Hess

  • Yale School of Medicine faculty
  • American gynecologists
  • American obstetricians
  • University at Buffalo alumni

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Latest information about Orvan Hess updated on September 05, 2020.

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