Design solutions for medical technology: Charles Drew's profound hypothermia apparatus for cardiac surgery

Lawrence, Ghislaine
May 2003
Perfusion;May2003, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p155
Academic Journal
The modern medical specialty of open-heart surgery had its origins in the 1950s. The development of apparatus to take over the function of the patient's heart and lungs during surgery played a central role, and much of the early work was done in U.S. medical centres. John Gibbon of Philadelphia was the first to operate successfully using a heart-lung machine, in 1953. The Mayo Clinic subsequently modified Gibbon's machine for their own open-heart programme. At Minnesota University during 1954, C. Walton Lillehei championed his cross-circulation technique, in which a patient's relative took the place of a heart-lung machine. Lillehei later devised and used a heart-lung machine in collaboration with Richard DeWall. Charles Drew's apparatus for his technique of open-heart surgery under profound hypothermia was developed around about 1960. The apparatus has been in the Science Museum's collections since 1987, and it went on permanent display in the Health Matters gallery in 1994. One of the principal intentions in that gallery was to make the selection of objects for display, and the display treatment itself, more in line with new perspectives in the history of medicine and of technology.


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