Standing on the Shoulders of the Giants: Stories of 3 Pioneers

The history of medicine and surgery is a rich source of interesting stories of genius and brave people who paved the way ahead of mankind towards the current status of medical and surgical practice. One has to admire the enthusiasms and courage of such people to whom millions of patients ought to be grateful. This paper reports the inspiring stories of 3 heart surgeons (Werner Forssmann, Dr. Lillehei and Dr. Michael E. DeBakey) and highlights their outstanding contributions to the modern cardiac surgery. It reminds the people to remember these three pioneers forever and encourages people working in this field to seek innovation.View Original article, please click here

Werner Forssmann inserting a catheter into his antecubital vein
Werner Forssmann inserting a catheter into his antecubital vein

Story 1:In 1929, in a small hospital in Eberswalde Germany Werner Forssmann (Figure 1), a young surgical resident, anesthetized his own elbow, inserted a catheter in his antecubital vein and, catheter dangling from his arm, proceeded to a basement x-ray room where he docu- mented the catheter’s position in his right atrium— proving that a catheter could be inserted safely into a human heart。

Story 2:Lil- lehei participated in 1952, at the age of 35, in the world’s first successful open-heart operation using hypothermia。

Story 3: The Man on the Table Devised the Surgery

Lawrence K. Altman in a cover story published in The New York Times on December 25, 2006 wrote “In late afternoon December 31, 2005 Dr. Michael E.

Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael E. DeBakey (1908-2008), surgeon and aortic dissection sufferer

DeBakey , then 97, was alone at home in Houston in his study preparing a lecture when a sharp pain ripped through his upper chest and between his shoulder blades, then moved into his neck.

Standing on the Shoulders of the Giants (Latin: nanos gigantum humeris insidentes). The picture is derived from Greek mythology, where the blind giant Orion carried his servant Cedalion on his shoulders. It is a western meta- phor first used in the 12th century by Bernard of Chartres
Standing on the Shoulders of the Giants (Latin: nanos gigantum humeris insidentes). The picture is derived from Greek mythology, where the blind giant Orion carried his servant Cedalion on his shoulders. It is a western meta- phor first used in the 12th century by Bernard of Chartre

Whatever we achieve in our career, we should feel hum- ble and grateful to our predecessors and remember the letters of Isaac Newton “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of the giants”.

Related Articles:http://blog.scirp.org/scientific-news/standing-on-the-shoulders-of-the-giants-stories-of-3-pioneers-2/

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