Dr. Langford Kidd, 74, director of pediatric cardiology at Hopkins

July 22, 2005|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Dr. Langford Kidd, a retired director of pediatric cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine who studied infants with heart disease and the effects of high blood pressure on adolescents, died of a heart attack Tuesday at his Roland Park home. He was 74.

"He was a master educator," said Dr. Edward B. Clark, chairman of the department of pediatrics at the University of Utah, who studied under Dr. Kidd. "He was able to capture the attention of students and hold it while he transmitted complex concepts. His role as a teaching mentor in the field has been quite spectacular."

Serving at Hopkins as the Harriet Lane Professor of Pediatric Cardiology, he studied children with Down syndrome and found many of them had heart disease. He then collaborated with surgeons to develop surgical treatment. Colleagues said he built up the catheterization and echo-cardiography labs. He was named professor emeritus at his retirement in 1996.

"He was very interested in his patients and their relationships within their families," said a retired colleague, Dr. Catherine A. Neill. "He had a warm and empathetic personality. He also had a beautiful speaking voice, and it was a pleasure to hear him lecture."

Born Bernard Sean Langford Kidd in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he was a graduate of the College of St. Columba in Dublin and earned a medical degree at Queen's University in Belfast. He was then a fellow of the Royal College of Professors in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Before coming to Hopkins in 1975, Dr. Kidd was assistant director and associate professor of pediatric cardiology at the Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto, where he investigated the surgical repair of complex heart defects.

In a 1979 Evening Sun profile, Dr. Kidd discussed working with adolescents with high blood pressure. He estimated that as much as 10 percent of the nation's population under the age of 18 was affected by the condition.

"Adolescence is a very stressful time of life, and what we hope to do is help those teenagers through this period and start them on an adult life on a new track for blood pressure and everything else," he said in the article.

He recommended exercise, relaxation techniques and lowering salt intake.

"To his patients, he had a reassuring aura. He could fill a room with his exuberance," said Dr. Henry M. Seidel, a retired Hopkins pediatrics professor.

Friends and family members recalled yesterday Dr. Kidd's habit of always wearing crimson red socks, which he took to sporting after his sons and daughters kept snatching his dark-colored socks. They also said he steadfastly refused to trim his bushy eyebrows.

"He could quiet any child," said Hazel McCandless Kidd, his wife of 46 years. "It used to embarrass me at restaurants. He would go up to a neighboring table with children present and start talking. He had an enormous sense of humor and could speak to children at their level."

Dr. Kidd co-wrote the 1976 book The Child with Congenital Heart Disease After Surgery, and he was the author of dozens of scientific papers and chapters in medical textbooks.

He was a former trustee of St. Paul's School and a former president of the Maryland Chapter of the American Heart Association.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. July 30 at Old Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, Charles and Saratoga streets, where he was a communicant.

Survivors also include two sons, Ian Kidd of Baltimore and Andrew Kidd of Ruxton; two daughters, Caroline Kidd Barringer of Catonsville and Deirdre Pacylowski of Elkridge; and six grandchildren.

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