Before 1900, very few people died of heart disease. Since then, heart disease has become the number one killer in the U.S. Before the Industrial Revolution, most people made their living through some sort of manual labour and walking was a major means of transportation. Laundry was scrubbed, stairs were climbed, carpets were beat, and butter was churned.

With the arrival of automation, most manual labour was either replaced or assisted by machinery. Modern conveniences made physical activity unnecessary. Along with the change in lifestyle came a change in diet. Machines were built to homogenize milk, process cheese, churn butter, and make ice cream. Previously, such high-fat treats had to be made by hand.

Fried foods, like potato chips, hamburgers, and French fries, became staples in many diets. The combination of a sedentary lifestyle and a rich diet led to an increase in cardiovascular events. The rate of heart disease increased so sharply between the 1940 and 1967 that the World Health Organization called it the world's most serious epidemic.

Welcome to Pastreunited, here you will find hundreds of videos, images, and over 80 pages about all aspects of the 20th century. A great deal of the content has been sent in, other content is the work of numerous writers who have a passion for this era, please feel free to send in your memories or that of your family members, photos and videos are all welcome to help expand pastreunited's data base.

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The production of asbestos fibres became a major industry and was widely used at the beginning of 20th century. This industry advancement was used in a variety of building projects, ship yards and various construction sites. The initial knowledge of asbestos exposure happened in the early years of the fibre development and the tragic history of this lung cancer started in the early 1930. Mesothelioma's history, just like with the discoveries of any other major diseases, has a combination of science, medical research and "courage".

The history of mesothelioma is thought to have begun where mine waste, which contained asbestos fibres, was used to cover school yards and playgrounds. It was actually around that time when many people who didn't even work in or even around asbestos began to contract this deadly illness. It became a risk to those who just lived nearby asbestos factories and most especially to those people who are working in the factories associated with asbestos. The last asbestos mining was stopped in 1966. It was rumoured that officials already knew of the health hazards that it could bring prior to its closure, but still continued to conduct business as usual, despite the fatal consequences.

It is strange why the mine was allowed to operate without any risk control and why the site wasn't forced to close up before that time. Industry leaders didn't even force the issue of taking on safer work practices in order to make it safer for their employees. And because of the failure to protect the workers, there were more and more new cases of mesothelioma being diagnosed every year. The new cases even began to expand to those who didn't even work in the mine but were simply exposed to it through secondary means. The first diagnosed case in the history of mesothelioma was an Australian mine and mill worker who worked in the asbestos mining industry for approximately three years.

It was getting to the point where the people who lived in the town where the asbestos mining industry was being conducted were contracting the disease as well. This event caused many horrible illnesses and became a significant source of frustration with the people in the community until late 1970's, when the Australian Government decided to simply shut down the town...literally. The city had been exposed to this deadly substance for far too long and the dear people of the town paid with their health and many paid with their lives.

The history of this asbestos cancer is a dark piece of medical history and one that we should never forget. What if someone had the courage to step in and demand safer work practices long before so many lives were eternally altered? What if...could the history of mesothelioma have been re-written to reflect an entirely different story? Perhaps...yes, perhaps.

By T. J. Lashley

The use of plants for healing ailments depicted in cave paintings suggest that herbal medicine was practiced since prehistoric times. Using trail and error as a means of gaining experience, many tribal cultures had developed a database of medical knowledge that was used to cure many diseases.

The earliest known surgery was performed in Egypt as far back as 2750 BC. Christopher Freville says that the Edwin Smith Papyrus sheds a lot of light on the level of advancement of Egyptian medicine. Although there was always a mix of the supernatural element with traditional Egyptian medicine, they were effectively used in the fields of public health, anatomy and clinical diagnostics.

The Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus dating back to 1800 BC details the diagnosis and treatment of women's complaints which include problems with conception. By the 1st Dynasty of ancient Egypt, medical institutions known as ‘Houses of Life' were established.

Christopher Freville says that at the time of the 19th Dynasty, a few workers even enjoyed benefits such as pension, medical insurance and sick leave. Ancient Egypt is also known to have had the earliest known physician, Hesyre who was ‘Chief of Dentists and Physicians' in 10 BC during the 27th Dynasty ruled by King Djoser. Peseshet was the earliest known woman physician who practised during the 4th Dynasty.

She even graduated midwives in a medical school in Sais, ancient Egypt and was titled ‘Lady Overseer of the Lady Physicians'. Medicine was also practised in Babylon as seen in the oldest Babylonian texts dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. One diagnostic handbook written during the reign of the Babylonian king Adad-apla-iddina by the physician Esagil-kin-apli of Borsippa between 1069-1046 BC serves as the most extensive Babylonian medical text.

The Babylonians also practiced diagnosis, physical examination and prognosis and wrote prescriptions. Christopher Freville observes that the Babylonians even used creams, pills and bandages in their medical procedures.

The physician Hippocrates of ancient Greece compiled a collection of around 70 medical works known as the Hippocratic Corpus. Babylon and Egypt played a large role in influencing Greek medicine. Hippocrates of Kos is in fact considered the ‘father of modern medicine'. He also authored the Hippocratic Oath which is still used by physicians today.

He is credited with the categorization of illnesses into various categories such as chronic, acute, epidemic and endemic. According to Christopher Freville the first documented chest surgeries were conducted by Hippocrates and his findings are still relevant today.

The Romans invented the surgical use of cross-bladed scissors, surgical needle, scalpel, forceps, cautery and specula. They also first devised instruments unique to the treatment of women's disorders. They also pioneered cataract surgery. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Roman as well as Greek medical texts were preserved in monasteries. From the 12th century onwards, medicine established itself as a faculty alongside law and theology in the first European Universities.

Advancement in chemistry and in laboratory equipment and techniques revolutionized medicine in the 19th century. Bacteriology and virology gained a lot of attention. The 20th century also witnessed the emergence of medical schools which facilitated better medical care to the sick.

PSC plant stem cell

20th century medicine has its eye on various discoveries, in its attempts to study the causes of diseases by the molecular and genetic level. The discovery of PSC plant stem cell research has paved way for useful things which appear as future solutions to dilemmas posed by cancer and viral or bacterial gene mutations. One of these remarkable discoveries in stem cell research is the use of PSC plant stem cells to create elixirs which can help prolong life expectancy in today’s world of junk food, global warming and pollution.

Although PSC plant stem cells therapy is a novel, natural way of healing, the story of PSC plant stem cells is not new. It dates back to ancient Egypt, when buds were being used in illnesses. In 1970, Dr. Pol Henry, a Belgian Medical Doctor, published his findings on the use of extracts from buds and other plant material. He called his study on phytoembryotherapy, a therapy which is based on biologic energy from plants and other natural resources.

Dr. Max Tetau then popularized “gemmotherapy” or “bud therapy” in France. PSC plant stem cells therapy is a form of therapy which used extracts from buds, young shoots and young roots. These plant parts were chosen to be made into extracts because they were believed to be the center of a plant’s energy and thus, they are the main source of therapeutic effects.

These parts, made into PSC plant stem cells, also differ from the adult plant parts because they are less exposed to toxins and pollution. PSC plant stem cells are a treasury of effective therapies. Embryonic tissue found in PSC plant stem cells contains biologic energy and the genetic information for future plants.

PSC plant stem cells also has an abundance of precious substances such as growth hormones, including auxins, gibberellins, ethylene, abscisic acid, cytokinins, nucleic acids, minerals, oligoelements, flavonoids, vitamins and enzymes. PSC plant stem cells contain auxins, which are plant hormones which were discovered by Charles Darwin in 1880.

They stimulate cell growth and strengthen the immune system. They also contain Indoleacetic acud which helps regenerate tissues and lessens inflammation. PSC plant stem cells also contain gibberellins, which stimulate RNA and protein synthesis. The cytokinins found in PSC plant stem cells protect cells as they go into the process of cell division, thus they show promise in cancer therapy. Abscisic acid, also found in PSC plant stem cells create resistance to stress.

Thus it is not surprising that PSC plant stem cells is now being used for athletes, growth problems in children, replacement therapy for aging, adjunct to would healing. PSC plant stem cell therapy increases exercise endurance, facilitates healing after illnesses and hospitalizations.

PSC plant stem cells reverses skin and body aging, firms muscles, reduces weight and body fat, enhances memory, improves vision, makes skin soft, smooth and firm, reverses osteoporosis due to its osteoblastic action, and improves sleep. PSC plant stem cells are not toxic to the body. They have many routes of elimination, as compared to drugs, and this is protective against toxicity.

1948 Glasgow

By 1948, Glasgow had an established, mixed economy of both healthcare and welfare. In addition to voluntary providers, there was an array of charitable providers. One of the largest providers of social services and healthcare was the national Church, the Established Church of Scotland. Yet it was a fairly recent entrant into the formal health and welfare market.

While during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries individual Church of Scotland ministers helped recruit and train midwives for rural communities, it was only at the turn of the twentieth century that the Church formalized its health and welfare provision. In 1894 the Church opened the Deaconess Hospital in Edinburgh to train missionary deaconesses and to provide healthcare for Church members and the poor of the Pleasance District of Edinburgh.

By 1904, the Church recognized the need to both coordinate and expand their health and welfare services. To that end, they established a Committee on Social Work to ‘provide social services irrespective of class, creed or colour based on Christian gospel and carried out by committed Christian men and women...’ . Their network of health and social services gradually expanded so that by World War II, the Church was the largest single provider of social services in Scotland.

The Church focused their provision in Scotland’s cities and gained civic recognition for the health and welfare services provided, including much needed accommodation, as well as specialist health and welfare services that targeted young women the future mothers of the nation. Yet the Established Church of Scotland was only one of many providers of health and welfare services. Using Glasgow as a case study, because many of the Church’s efforts were centred there.

While the Church worked independently of other providers, it engaged with civic bodies and kept a close watch of other providers to determine the type, extent and nature of its provision. In doing, the Church constructed medical boundaries that neglected the majority of its membership the poor. Such exclusionary policies limited the Churc’s impact and marginalized it from other health and welfare providers in the city.

There were few effective medicines or therapies available to combat infectious diseases before the mid- 1930s, so medical care is indeed unlikely to have played an important role during this period. Starting in the mid-1930s, however, there were major medical advances that could have contributed to mortality declines.

The effects of these early medical technologies have not received much attention in the literature, due perhaps to data limitations and methodological challenges. Historical epidemiologists, such as McKeown, R.G. Record, and R.D. Turner (1975) and McKinlay and McKinlay (1977), have observed that a large share of 20th-century declines in infectious disease mortality preceded the advent of medical treatments and concluded that the cause of the advances must be something other than modern medicine.

Sulfa drugs

Sulfa drugs were the first effective antibacterial agents to be produced in a pharmaceutical laboratory. Before the first sulfa drug was synthesized in 1932, infectious disease research and treatment was dominated by immunotherapy, which involved the use of either animal serum containing antibodies to treat patients (passive immunization) or vaccines to produce antibodies in individuals to prevent the occurrence of disease (active immunization) (Loudon 2002).

While serum was not widely used due to cost and the high risk of serum-related 6 illness, several important vaccine discoveries were made in the late nineteenth century, including the rabies vaccine (1885) and the diphtheria antitoxin (1891). 

In the late 1920s, German researchers began investigating the antibacterial potential of textile dyes (Loudon 1991). In 1932, Gerhard Domagk, a German scientist working at the chemical and dye company I.B. Farben, discovered that a red dye compound, “Prontosil,” was successful in treating mice injected with streptococci. Domagk’s results, however, were not published until 1935.2 That same year, the Pasteur Institute in France showed that the active ingredient in the dye compound was sulfonamide. The structure of sulfonamide had been documented in the doctoral dissertation of an Austrian chemist, Paul Gelmo, in 1908 and the patent on it had long expired.

Therefore, the technology for making sulfonamide was available, and anyone could produce it. It was also relatively inexpensive to produce. As a result, production and clinical testing of sulfonamide began on a large-scale soon after its discovery.

The first major clinical trial of sulfa drugs occurred in 1936 at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in England, when Prontosil was given to 38 women with serious cases of puerperal fever, a complication from childbirth caused by streptococcal infection that was the leading cause of maternal mortality at the time. The results, published in the June 1936 issue of the Lancet, reported a mortality rate of 8% among treated patients versus 24% among the previous 38 untreated patients (Leonard Colebrook and Maeve Kenny 1936a).

The success of sulfa drugs in treating puerperal fever was replicated, and even surpassed, in subsequent clinical trials in London, as well as in other parts of Europe (Colebrook and Kenny 1936b, M.A. Foulis and John B. Barr 1937; G. F. Gibberd 1937). Prontosil was first used in the U.S. in 1935 to treat a child with meningitis at Babies Hospital in New York

Joseph Merrick

Sir Frederick Treves first showed Joseph Merrick, the famous Elephant Man, to the Pathological Society of London in 1884. A diagnosis of neurofibromatosis was suggested in 1909 and was widely accepted. There is no evidence, however, of cafe au lait spots or histological proof of neurofibromas.

It is also clear that Joseph Merrick's manifestations were much more bizarre than those commonly seen in neurofibromatosis. Evidence indicates that Merrick suffered from the Proteus syndrome and had the following features compatible with this diagnosis: macrocephaly; hyperostosis of the skull; hypertrophy of long bones; and thickened skin and subcutaneous tissues, particularly of the hands and feet, including plantar hyperplasia, lipomas, and other unspecified subcutaneous masses.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria, Queen of England from 1837-1901, was the longest reigning monarch in English history. She established the monarchy as a respectable institution while it was losing its place as an important part of the British governing system.

Victoria was a carrier of hemophilia, a genetic disease that causes the patient to have severe hemorrhages. Were it not for Queen Victoria, the marriage of her nine offspring to other noble houses would not have transmitted the hemophilia gene throughout European Royalty. One of the most famous heirs was Tsarevich Alexis, the only son and heir of Nicholas II, Russia's last Tsar.

The U.S. experienced unprecedented declines in mortality during the 20th century. The age-adjusted death rate declined by 74%, and life expectancy increased by 56%, or 30 years Seventy percent of the increase in longevity occurred during the first half of the century, driven by improvements in infectious-disease mortality, the leading cause of death at the time.

What caused these rapid gains is the subject of great debate and has important policy implications for developing countries today where infectious disease mortality remains high. The prevailing view is that medical advances played a negligible role in the mortality decline between 1900 and 1950. The gains, instead, are attributed to rising living standards, better nutrition, and public health measures that improved water supplies, sanitation systems, and household hygiene.

This view seems uncontroversial for the first thirty years of the 20th century. There were few effective medicines or therapies available to combat infectious diseases before the mid-1930s, so medical care is indeed unlikely to have played an important role during this period. Starting in the mid-1930s, however, there were major medical advances that could have contributed to mortality declines.

 Dr. J. Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters

Dr. J. Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Dr. Jacob Hostetter invented the concoction and used it in his practice until his retirement in 1853. Upon retiring he gave his son, David, the formula.

David, after an unsuccessful business venture in San Francisco, returned to Pennsylvania and went into a patent medicine partnership with longtime friend, George W. Smith. Smith provided the $4,000 needed to produce the first batches of Dr. J. Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters, and otherwise get the business started. The firm was successful and advertised widely – or most likely it was the other way around.

The Civil War further ensured success for the product when the Union army began to order the bitters by boxcar load. The army, no doubt, found the product useful in encouraging soldiers before a battle – Hostetter’s Bitters was 47 per cent (94-proof) alcohol.

Polio victim

Polio is caused by a virus that infects the intestinal tract. Most infections do not cause seriousillness. However, some people may develop meningitis or become paralyzed. Since 1979, the only polio disease cases reported in the United States have been imported from other countries or associated with the oral polio vaccination, which is no longer offered in the United States.

Most persons infected with polio do not develop symptoms at all or may have mild symptoms.Symptoms usually occur 3-35 days after exposure. Mild symptoms include fever, tiredness, headache, sore throat, nausea, and vomiting.

In some cases, the illness becomes more severe,and symptoms include severe muscle pain and stiffness in the neck and back. Muscle paralysis may occur in a small percentage of cases, and death may occur if breathing muscles become paralyzed. Polio is spread through contact with the stool or throat secretions of an infected person. Polio virus must be swallowed to cause infection. This can happen easily when contaminated hands or objects are put into the mouth.

Polio (poliomyelitis) is a potentially dangerous viral ailment. To combat this disease, researchers developed two polio vaccines (inactivated and live) grown in cultures made from monkey kidneys. Beginning in the 1950s, these vaccines were administered to millions of people in the United States and throughout the world. Officially, the polio vaccine is considered safe and effective, and has been credited with singularly reducing the incidence of this disease.

These tenets are not supported by the data. A cancer-causing monkey virus–SV-40–was discovered in polio vaccines administered to millions of people. SV-40 has been found in brain tumors, bone cancers, lung cancers and leukemia. SV-40 is transmitted through sexual intercourse, and from mother to child in the womb.

Monkeys that were used to make polio vaccines were infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a virus closely related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the infectious agent associated with AIDS. Some researchers question whether HIVs may simply be SIVs “residing in and adapting to a human host.” Polio vaccines also contain calf serum, glycerol and other parts of the cow that may have been infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, a fatal brain-wasting ailment that some researchers link to Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), its human equivalent.

Current disease reduction techniques that emphasize short-term gains over long-term health consequences need to be reevaluated and discontinued while new and safer health paradigms are researched and implemented. In 1905, Wickman published his doctoral thesis on polio in German and was instrumental in naming the disease Heine-Medin disease.

He thought that the Heine’s term for polio, spinal infantile paralysis, and Medin’s work on polio only referred to parts of the disease and hence, he came up with a new name for the disease. However, Wickman’s name did last in the long run because we call the disease polio even today.

The HIV virus is very similar to a virus that is found in some kinds of chimpanzees in west-central Africa. That virus is called SIV. Some researchers say that the virus crossed species from chimps to humans many years ago. Scientists have known for a long time that certain viruses can pass between species. The most commonly accepted theory is the 'hunter theory'.

According to this theory, humans were infected with SIV when they killed and ate chimps who had the virus. Or maybe the infected blood got into cuts or wounds on the hunter. Normally the hunter's body would have fought off SIV, but maybe the SIV virus changed into HIV.

An article published in The Lancet in 2004, also shows how the transfer of other viruses from monkeys and chimps to hunters is still occurring even today. Researchers tested 1,099 people in Cameroon and discovered about 1% were infected with SFV (Simian Foamy Virus), an illness that people used to think only infected some kinds of monkeys.

Researchers think that people catch thse viruses through butchering and eating monkey and ape meat. Discoveries such as this make many people think there should be a ban on bushmeat hunting to prevent simian viruses being passed to humans. By 1980, HIV had spread to North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Australia. The epidemic continues to spread. In this course we will be learning about many reasons why the virus continues to infect 11,000 people and cause nearly 8,000 deaths every day.

Capgras’ Syndrome

A person with Capgras’ Syndrome suffers from the delusion that one or more of their close friends or family members have been replaced with exact duplicates, and they cannot be shaken from this belief in spite of an otherwise clean bill of mental health. In some instances, the person believes that they themselves are, in whole or in part, a duplicate.

Unlike the paranoia expected from such a condition, there is never a motive assigned for the appearance of the duplicates – the patients do not believe someone is “out to get them,” but they are at a loss for an explanation why anyone would want to replace their loved ones.

This odd misperception is named after the French psychiatrist Jean Marie Joseph Capgras, who described the case of a Madame M. in 1923. The woman insisted that identical-looking persons had taken the place of her family. Over time her delusion expanded to include neighbors, friends and acquaintances. But Madame M. never bothered to get to know these impostors because it was her belief that each one regularly left to make room for the next double.

In all, she eventually claimed to have had more than eighty husbands. People suffering from Capgras’ Syndrome can sometimes even doubt their own identity after seeing their reflection in a mirror. One man pinched himself on the arm after seeing his reflection at the doctor’s office, and wondered aloud whether he and the man in the reflection were the same person. There was also a woman who flew into a jealous rage every time she caught sight of her own reflection, believing this “other woman” was trying to lure her husband away from her.

Her husband eventually covered every reflective surface in the house in an effort to keep her from hurting herself. Oddly enough, she had no problem recognizing herself in the mirror of her makeup compact, but anything larger resulted in an assault on the imaginary impostor.

Her doctor tried a novel solution: he gathered a number of mirrors of varying sizes, and had the woman view herself in each one. He started with the smallest and gradually moved to the next larger as soon as she recognized herself. Ultimately she was able to see herself in a full-length mirror, and she was cured from then on.

Medical cartoon

Every day, patients in US. Hospitals are killed or crippled because they are given the wrong medication or the wrong dose of medication. And because hospitals aren't required to share that information and don't often voluntarily do it, the same mistakes are made over and over again. An investigation by the Pittsburgh post-gazette shows the same medication errors are repeated, day after day, in one hospital after the other, all over the country.

The mistakes often involve the same medicines, the same devices, the same misreadings and the same disastrous results. For example: -- the same feeding tube mix-up that killed 75-year-old retired steelworker Joseph Orlinski at mercy hospital jan. 20 has killed at least nine other patients from Virginia to Arizona in the past eight years. The same confusion between dilute and concentrate Novocaine syringes that killed Edward d. Wolf jr., 61, at St. Clair memorial hospital in mt. Lebanon in 1990 has caused at least 42 hospital deaths nationwide since the late 1970s.

Similar mix-ups between potassium chloride and other clear liquid medications that killed two elderly women patients -- one at north hills passavant hospital in 1988 and one at st. John's mercy health and hospital center in 1989 -- have been recorded for as long as the last 30 years, resulting in at least five other deaths in Pennsylvania alone in the past six years. Why don't hospital personnel learn from each other's mistakes? Because they usually don't hear about them.

Only a fraction of the errors are ever published in professional journals and even when they are, it's hard to know where to look, since they may appear in any of the thousands of such journals now published. In rare instances, the local media learn of a serious medication error and disseminate the information. But then, usually only in the local area. Otherwise, the errors remain the hospital's deadly secret.

Medical errors cartoon

"My impression is that hospitals do a pretty good job of detecting errors," said don Ruwe, a hospital pharmacist in Edgewood, ky., and member of the Kentucky board of pharmacy. "they just don't tell anybody." And they don't have to. There are no requirements for hospitals in most states -- including Pennsylvania -- to share or analyze information on errors.

Sometimes a medication error might be referred to a licensing board for discipline against a pharmacist, doctor or nurse. Or a coroner's office will be told about a death. But those agencies have narrow responsibilities, such as the revocation of a license or determination of criminality. It isn't their job to look for patterns among errors.

And even when mistakes are reported there's no central agency -- governmental or private -- that systematically seeks out and analyzes the information to alert other hospitals. Without formal oversight, the hospitals are left on their own to share information about errors.

But they're not likely to. "it's something we don't want to talk about, and I've always been troubled by that," said r. David anderson, former president of the American society of hospital pharmacists. "it's just been sort of a sin committed by hospital administrators to hide that type of information to avoid any potential suit.

It's a defensive measure to prevent it from getting into court, which then becomes public knowledge." such secrecy contributes to a growing number of horror stories, experts believe. And mounting evidence gleaned through anecdotes and research is revealing a staggering picture. In a nationwide study of hospital pharmacists conducted by the post- gazette, 250 pharmacists estimated there were 16,000 medication errors in their institutions last year alone, 106 of them resulting in patient deaths.

And while the typical response from individual pharmacists was 12 errors that caused death, disability or harm in 1992, one pharmacist estimated 3,400 errors in one hospital that year. In 1952, Dr. Forest Dodrill, a surgeon at Wayne state university’s harper hospital and president of the Michigan heart association, was absolutely confident that a machine could be developed to temporarily replace the human heart’s blood-pumping function and make open heart surgery possible.

Several previous devices had been used during surgery with animals. But the issues of how to preserve red corpuscles when blood was pumped through a machine as well as how to prevent blood clotting, haemorrhaging, and infection had to be addressed before a machine could be used for heart surgery on humans.

dodrill-gmr mechanical heart

Dr. Dodrill and his medical team turned to a team of scientists and engineers at the general motors research laboratories, then located in the gm building annex in detroit, to help develop and then build a mechanical heart that would address all these issues.

The result was the dodrill-gmr mechanical heart, built by the gm research laboratories at no cost, in the public interest. It measured 10 inches by 12 inches by 17 inches and was described as resembling a 12-cylinder engine, with 6 separate chambers (looking like cylinders). With parts made of stainless steel, glass, and rubber, it used air pressure and vacuum pumps to circulate blood from the 12 chambers through the patient’s body while the heart was being operated on.

The dodrill-gmr mechanical heart (often called the artificial heart or heart pump) was used successfully for the first time in a surgery performed on 41-year-old man at harper hospital in the fall of 1952. As dr. Dodrill modestly noted in his report for the journal of American medicine, "to our knowledge, this is the first instance of the survival of a patient when a mechanical heart was used to take over the complete body function of maintaining the blood supply of the body while the heart was open and operated on."

The operation lasted 80 minutes and the mechanical heart kept the patient alive for 50 minutes while his own heart was repaired. Its success soon made open heart surgery a common practice. General motors left the reporting on the dodrill-gmr mechanical heart’s success to theMichigan heart association and did not even issue a news release.

With more sophisticated heart-lung machines under development by other medical engineering teams, gm donated the device to the Smithsonian institution in 1954. 1900s British obstetrician James Blundell performs transfusions on women haemorrhaging from post-partum child birth. Advises that only human blood should be used, admonishing the transfusion of animal blood in humans. 1900s Australian botanist Gregor Mendel publishes his studies outlining the principles of heredity thus genetics.

1900 Austrian-American Karl Landsteiner describes blood biocompatability and rejection, presents the ABO system. 1901 the Japanese American chemist and pharmacologist Jokichi Takamine isolated the powerful vasoconstrictor adrenaline valuable in the treatment of bronchial asthma and cardiac conditions. 1903 Willem Einthoven invents the expounding on Augustus Waller's work invents the electrocardiograph by using a string galvanometer.

1906 Pathologist James Homer Wright proved conclusively that platelets constituted a third type of blood element produced in the bone marrow. 1908 First successful transfusion using Landsteiner's ABO typing technique. 1908 New York, Alexis Carrel, a French surgeon sewed a father's artery to the vein of his newborn daughter who was haemorrhaging.

Both survive the procedure. 1910 Hooker, idea that pulse pressure was a necessary factor in perfusion. 1911 Madame Curie discovers radium. 1911 Scottish physician Thomas Addis suggested that the key to hemophilia lay in the faulty conversion of pro- thrombin to thrombin. 1912 Polish biochemist Casimir Funk identifies vitamins. 1914 Dr. Paul Dudley White, becomes one of the country's first cardiologists by placing an EKG machine in the basement of Massachusetts General Hospital, observing over 27,000 EKG's and publish his findings. 1914 W.H. Howell, physiologist at Johns Hopkins University the first to see a clot's network through a microscope with ultraviolet light.

1916 McLean isolated heparin making controlled anticoagulation possible. 1917 British physician Dr. Ivan Magill invents the endotracheal tube. 1920 Scientist/ aviator Charles A. Lindberg first oxygenation of perfusion fluid driven by compressed oxygen gas. 1920 Belt, Smith and Whipple wrote about factors relevant to perfusing living organs and tissues. 1921 German physiologist Otto Loewi expounds on Galvani's work and isolates acetylecholine and epinephrine. 1923 Boston surgeons Dr.'s Elliott Cutler and Claude Beck and cardiologist Samuel Levine operate on an 11 year old girl for mitral stenosis.

First use of a valvulotome. 1925 May 6. Dr. Henry Soutter performs a "digital" mitral commissurotomy. 1926 American physicians George Richards Minot and William Parry Murphy discover in liver an effective control for pernicious anemia. 1928 Dale and Schuster working at the National Institute for Medical research in Hempstead, England developed a double perfusion pump intended to carry out whole-body perfusion. It did not but was, however adopted by Dr. J.H. Gibbon, Jr. in his first heart-lung machine prototype.

Sir Alexander Fleming

1929 Penicillin, the action of this antibiotic was first observed by British bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming. 1929 Gibbs developed an artificial heart while working at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. Consisted of two bellows within a round brass container. 1929 German surgeon, Werner Forssman develops the technique of cardiac catheterization. Inserts the catheter into his arm and himself becomes the first subject.

1930s Werner Forssman uses a catheter to inject opaque dye into his heart in an attempt to outline the organ's chambers on X-Ray photographs. 1930s University of Wisconsin biochemist Karl Paul Link helps discover dicumarol, a long-term anticoagulant.

1930s Andre Cournand and D.W. Richards, American cardiologists spend ten years exploring the potential of the angiocath. 1931 Dr. John H. Gibbon, Jr., Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, conceives the idea of the heart-lung machine for extra-corporeal circulation to remove pulmonary emboli from moribound patients. 1931 Gibbon and Churchill, first use of phenobarbitone for anesthesia.

1934 Dr. Michael DeBakey invents the DeBakey pump. 1935 Danish biochemist Henrik Dam discovers Vitamin K and it's effect on bleeding problems. He names it Koagulation-Vitamin. 1935 May 10, Dr. John H. Gibbon, Jr., first successful application of the heart-lung machine for extracorporeal circulation in an animal (cat).

Bernard Fantus

1937 Bernard Fantus starts the first blood bank at Cook County Hospital in Chicago using a 2% solution of sodium citrate. Refrigerated blood lasted ten days. 1939 Second generation Gibbon heart-lung machine incorporating DeBakey pumps thus abandoning the Dale- Schuster pumps. 1938 August 26. Boston surgeon Dr. Robert Gross ligates the patent ductus in a human.

Performs over 1,500 similar cases. 1939 Charles Drew, a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University reports to the National Blood Transfusion Committee that the use of plasma is preferred over whole blood for the treatment of shock, burns and open wounds.

1940s O.H. Robertson, a Canadian medical officer during World War I, discovered that a solution of citrate glucose could preserve blood for as long as twenty-one days. 1941 Dr. Andre' Cournand performs the first cardiac catheterization on a human at the Bellvue Hospital, New York. 1941 Paul Owen, a hematologist in Oslo, noted the correlation between diet and coronary thrombosis.

1940s Dr. Alfred Blalock, former surgical resident at Vanderbilt University, and Dr. Helen Taussig, a heart specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital co-design the surgical technique for treatment of Tetrology of Fallot (pulmonary stenosis, ventricular septal defect, overriding aorta, right ventricular hypertrophy). 1943 Russian-born American microbiologist Selman Abraham Waksman discovered the antibiotic streptomycin used in the treatment of tuberculosis and other diseases.

1944 Dr. Alfred Blalock performs the first Blalock-Taussig procedure, end to side anastamosis of the subclavian artery to the pulmonary artery. 1944 October. Clarence Crawfoord of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm surgically repairs coarctation of the aorta in a human. 1944 Kolff and Berk, rotating kidney made from cellophane for dialysis; observed how venous blood became arterialized when exposed to aerated dialysis fluid. 1946 Cortisone produced by the cortex of the adrenal glands was synthesized and proved to have therapeutic value in rheumatoid arthritis and a variety of inflammatory diseases.

1948 American physicians Minot and Murphy isolate antianemic factor, vitamin B-12. 1948 National Heart Institute enacts the Framington (Massachusetts) study. Initial enrollment of 28,000 subjects to study the effects of factors influencing coronary artery disease. The project is ongoing. 1949 Dr. John H. Gibbon, Jr. uses protamine to reverse the anticoagulation effects of sodium heparin. 1949 IBM develops the Gibbon Model I heart-lung machine, delivered to Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA. Consisted of DeBakey Pumps and film oxygenator.

 The first blood transfusion

The first blood transfusion was done via direct connection between donor and recipient. George Washington Crile (1864-1943), an American surgeon, developed a standard surgical method of blood transfusion. After surgically exposing a recipient's vein and a donor's artery, a physician clamped shut the vessels and attached a small tube as a conduit between them.

When the surgical clamps clamps were opened, blood flowed from donor to recipient. Edward Lindeman took the procedure out of the operating room in 1913 with a simple needle puncture technique. This method also allowed exact measurement of the amounts of blood being transfused. With all these advances in place, blood transfusion spread rapidly and became firmly established during World War I (1914-1918). Once blood transfusion was in wide use, storage of donated blood became a problem. The first "blood bank" was set up by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937 at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

A method of preserving red blood cells for up to 21 days with acid citrate dextrose was developed in the 1940s. African-American surgeon Charles Richard Drew studied in depth a way to preserve and store blood ready for instant use. He discovered that plasma could be processed and reserved for a long time, and transfused without regard to blood type or matching in place of whole blood. Drew established blood banks in England and the United States during World War II (1939-1945). These banks saved thousands of lives by making blood transfusion available to the wounded.

Today, blood transfusion remains a widely used and critical medical procedure. After World War II, methods were developed for separating the various constituents of blood. As a result, in addition to whole blood, a patient may receive "packed" red cells, granulocytes (white cells), platelets, plasma, or plasma components. Both natural and artificial blood substitutes are also used. Perhaps most serious of the remaining risks of blood transfusion is the possibility of transmitting disease via the donor's blood. Of special concern is the transmittal of the HIV virus and hepatitis. For this reason, donated blood is carefully screened.

Chronic fatigue syndrome was first identified as a distinct entity in the 1980s. (A virtually identical illness had been identified in Britain three decades earlier and called myalgic encephalomyelitis.) The illness, which afflicts more women than men, causes overwhelming fatigue, sleep disorders and other severe symptoms. No consistent biomarkers have been identified and no treatments have been approved for addressing the underlying causes, although some medications provide symptomatic relief.

Patients say the word "fatigue" does not begin to describe their condition. Donna Flowers of Los Gatos, Calif., a physical therapist and former professional figure skater, said the profound exhaustion was unlike anything she had ever experienced. "I slept for 12 to 14 hours a day but still felt sleep-deprived," said Ms. Flowers, 51, who fell ill several years ago after a bout of mononucleosis.

"I had what we call ‘brain fog.’ I couldn’t think straight, and I could barely read. I couldn’t get the energy to go out of the door. I thought I was doomed. I wanted to die." Studies have shown that people with the syndrome experience abnormalities in the central and autonomic nervous systems, the immune system, cognitive functions, the stress response pathways and other major biological functions.

Researchers believe the illness will ultimately prove to have multiple causes, including genetic predisposition and exposure to microbial agents, toxins and other physical and emotional traumas. Studies have linked the onset of chronic fatigue syndrome with an acute bout of Lyme disease, Q fever, Ross River virus, parvovirus, mononucleosis and other infectious diseases.

Death by medicine

The 20th century teemed with progress. Horse and buggy, boat, and rail travel were, to all intents and purposes, replaced by the automobile and jet plane. Communication by telegraph and mail service was replaced by telephone, satellite, the World Wide Web, and more efficient mail service (though junk marl is a twentieth century phenomenon).

Live entertainment was to a significant degree replaced by the radio, phonograph, audio and video tape, CD, and television. Home heating, air conditioning, lighting, water and toilet facilities were all improved or introduced during the last century. Health care was no exception to the amazing progress made during the last one hundred years.

During the 20th century, the age adjusted death rate declined by 74% and life expectancy increased 56%. This is considered a triumph of public health and biomedical research. These hundred years saw changes in health care that included the widespread use of immunizations, vast improvements of sanitation, surgical milestones that included sterile techniques, safer anaesthesia, miniaturization of many surgeries, less invasive methods of surgery, and the transplantation of organs. Much safer and more varied medications, including the introduction of antibiotics and antiviral therapies, became available.

Diagnostic tools now used routinely that were unavailable 100 years ago include a wide variety of sophisticated blood tests, X-rays, and imaging studies such as bone scan, thyroid scan, CT and MRI. The ECG, EMG, and EEG are products of the last century. "Scoping," such as arthroscopy and endoscopy, was introduced as well as the medical (and industrial) use of laser technology. The list could go on and on. There were many vital statistics that changed during the last 100 years. Life expectancy went from the mid 40s to the high 70s.

In the early part of the previous century respiratory infectious diseases accounted for almost a quarter of all deaths. Pneumonia and influenza remained the second leading cause of death overall until 1933 when cancer replaced it. In 1998, the two leading causes of death overall were heart disease and cancer. Pneumonia and influenza have dropped to numbers six and seven on the list.

We often hear the term "baby boom." The peak years of the baby boom occurred in 1950 to 1957 when 123 out of every 1000 women aged 15 to 44 gave birth (actually very similar to the birth rate in the 1920s). To compare, the birth rate during the last quarter century has stayed relatively flat at about 65 births per 1000 women of childbearing age. Maternal mortality slowly declined early in the twentieth century. Maternal deaths is defined as the number of deaths during pregnancy and the following 42 days.

Beginning in 1935, the mortality rate of 582 deaths per 100,000 live births began a precipitous decline so that by 1956 it was 40 deaths per 100,00 live births and in 1998 7.1 deaths per 100,000 live births. There was an overall drop in maternal mortality of 90%. Infant mortality also declined.

In 1915, about 100 white infants per 1000 live births and twice as many black infants died in the first year of life. In 1998, the infant mortality rate was 7.2 overall, 6.0 for white and 14.3 for black infants. Several important advances in neonatology have been instrumental in significantly reducing infant mortality over the last twenty years. For children older than one year old, the decline in mortality was even greater.

In 1900, about 30 children in a thousand died between ages one and twenty. In 1998, the number had reduced to less than two. The leading causes of death in children in 1900 were infectious diseases (diarrheal diseases, diphtheria, measles, pneumonia, influenza, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, whooping cough, typhoid fever, etc.). Infectious disease as a cause of death declined from 61.6% to 2% over the last century. Accidents now account for 43.9% of childhood deaths.

Even accident as a cause of death (now called unintentional injuries) dropped from 47.5 to 15.9 per 100,000 children. Common accidental causes of death in children early this century were injuries on the farm, fires and burns, and injuries in factories and shops. The most common cause of accidental death in children now is motor vehicle-related.

Deaths from unintentional injuries, such as homicide and suicide, accounted for 9.8% of deaths in this age group in 1998, with firearms accounting for 7% of all accidental deaths in children. The major declines in child mortality that occurred in the first third of the last century have been attributed to a combination of improved socioeconomic conditions and public health strategies, including improvements in water treatment, food safety, solid waste disposal, and public education.

In the middle of the century, the impact of vaccinations became apparent. Deaths from diphtheria, pertussis, and measles, common early this century, are almost unheard of today. Deaths from polio, tetanus, and H. Influenza disease have also been virtually eliminated by mass vaccinations.

The percent of the population that is elderly is slowly increasing because of the combination of a relatively low birth rate and a longer life expectancy. This provides a societal challenge to provide the necessary resources to deal with the issue of balancing the needs of children with the demands of a growing aging population.

Since the aging population has much more political clout than children, it is feared that our youngsters will be left behind. The voices of parents must be raised, despite the time and economic constraints imposed by parenthood, or the fate of our children will be left in the hands of others. The strength of our advocacy for this vulnerable population will determine how well children will fare in this new century. Happy New Century!


Scurvy, a disease of dietary deficiency of vitamin C, is uncommon today. However, among diseases, scurvy has a rich history and an ancient past. The Renaissance period (14th to 16th centuries) witnessed several epidemics of scurvy among sea voyagers.

In 1747, James Lind, a British Naval surgeon, performed a carefully designed clinical trial and concluded that oranges, lemons and limes had the most antiscorbutic effect. Eventually, with the provision of lemon juice and lime juice to the sea voyagers, scurvy became rare at sea. Infantile scurvy appeared almost as a new disease toward the end of the 19th century and has been attributed to the usage of heated milk and proprietary foods.

Thomas Barlow described the classic clinical and pathological features of infantile scurvy in 1883. Between 1907 and 1912, Holst and Frolich induced and cured scurvy in guinea pigs by dietary modification. In 1914, Alfred Hess established that pasteurization reduced the antiscorbutic value of milk and recommended supplementation of fresh fruit and vegetable juices to prevent scurvy. Such pioneering efforts led to the eradication of infantile scurvy in the United States.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Although President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been profoundly affected by paralytic polio, he overcame great odds to become the president of the United States in 1935. In the early years of his presidency, he was diagnosed with persistent hypertension.

He was also treated with digitalis for congestive heart failure. His blood pressure shortly before the Yalta Conference (February l945) had grown alarmingly high, and it was evident that he had developed cardiac cachexia. Cachexia increases with cardiac failure similar to the increased cachectin of chronic inflammatory diseases and far-advanced malignancies.

This results in the acceleration in the patient's metabolism with a wasting syndrome. The patient develops anorexia, weakness and weight loss. Churchill and Stalin were able to take advantage of Roosevelt at Yalta because of his hypertensive cardiac failure and cachexia. Thus, Roosevelt's cardiac cachexia profoundly affected the outcome of the Yalta meeting, altered the course of world history.

 The 20th century saw significant changes in the practice of medicine. From an increasingly solid scientific base came striking discoveries, while, at the same time, patients became progressively more overtly demanding and distrustful of their doctors. Retreating from a besieged “paternalistic” identity, physicians, applying the ‘latest’ findings of scientific and pharmacological research, adopted new roles as impersonal, sometimes distant, technicians and became enforcers of governments’ health agendas. Patients, feeling generally abandoned, often criticized, frequently confused and never satisfied, insisted on playing a greater role in their own health care. It was into the midst of these tectonic shifts that the sub-discipline of health psychology emerged.

Back in the 1970’s, in those early days when it first called itself “new,” it exuded promise as it spawned a bio-psycho-social model, championed the fervour for “wellness,” and rose rapidly to become a thriving aspect of the “psychology industry. Assuming the popularized public image of psychology as a science, it aligned itself both with medicine as a purveyor of medical knowledge and with patients (and potential patients) as a consultant and coach in healthy living. It was prepared to fill the interpersonal void in the doctor-patient relationship by offering a listening ear and caring presence as it empathized with the multi-layered aspects of sickness.

1918 Flu Pandemic

The origin of the 1918 pandemic has always been disputed and may never be resolved. However, the observations of trained observers at that time are worth noting because they may bear on later genomic analysis of the recently resurrected 1918 virus nucleotide fragments and the abortive “swine flu” epidemic of 1976. In Richard Shope’s Harvey lecture of 1936 , he reviews evidence that in the late summer or early autumn of 1918, a disease not previously recognized in swine, and closely resembling influenza in humans, appeared in the American Middle West.

Epidemiologic-epizootiologic evidence strongly suggested that the causative virus was moving from humans to swine rather than in the reverse direction. Similar observations were made on the other side of the world and reported in a little-known paper in the National Medical Journal of China .

In the spring of 1918, influenza in humans spread rapidly all over the world and was prevalent from Canton, China, to the most northern parts of Manchuria and from Shanghai to Szechuan.

In October 1918, a disease diagnosed as influenza appeared in Russian and Chinese pigs in the area surrounding Harbin. Thus, epidemiologic evidence, fragmentary as it is, appears to favor the spread of virus from humans to swine, in which it remained relatively unchanged until it was recovered more than a decade later by Shope in the first isolation of influenza virus from a mammalian species.


Leprosy or Hansen's disease (HD), is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, Leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions are the primary external sign.

Left untreated, leprosy can be progressive, causing permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. Contrary to folklore, leprosy does not cause body parts to fall off, although they can become numb and/or diseased as a result of infection. Although the mode of transmission of Hansen's disease remains uncertain, most investigators think that M. leprae is usually spread from person to person in respiratory droplets, The minimum incubation period reported is as short as a few weeks and this is based on the very occasional occurrence of leprosy among young infant.

The maximum incubation period reported is as long as 30 years, or over, as observed among war veterans known to have been exposed for short periods in endemic areas but otherwise living in non-endemic areas.

It is generally agreed that the average incubation period is between three and five years. Leprosy is now known to be neither sexually transmitted nor highly infectious after treatment. Approximately 95% of people are naturally immune and sufferers are no longer infectious after as little as 2 weeks of treatment. Leprosy has affected humanity for over 4,000 years, and was well-recognized in the civilizations of ancient China.

Egypt, and India DNA taken from the shrouded remains of a man discovered in a tomb next to the Old City of Jerusalem shows him to be the earliest human proven to have suffered from leprosy. In 1995, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that between 2 and 3 million people were permanently disabled because of leprosy at that time. In the past 20 years, 15 million people worldwide have been cured of leprosy.

Although the forced quarantine or segregation of patients is unnecessary in places where adequate treatments are available, many leper colonies still remain around the world in countries such as India (where there are still more than 1,000 leper colonies), China, Romania, Egypt, Nepal, Somalia, Liberia, Vietnam, and Japan,Leprosy was once believed to be highly contagious and sexually transmitted, and was treated with mercury—all of which applied to syphilis which was first described in 1530.

It is now thought that many early cases of leprosy could have been syphilis Lepers were forbidden to enter churches or to go into any assembly of people: they had to wear a specific dress, so as to be recognized by the 'clean'. They were not permitted to have sexual intercourse and they were forbidden to touch people or any of their possessions. Each leper was separated from the community after a precise religious ceremony in which he or she was declared dead to the world and was treated very much like a corpse is before burial.

Thalidomide Children

Thalidomide was originally developed in Germany in 1954 by the pharmaceutical company Chemie Grunenthal. It was used in the UK from 1958, commonly to treat morning sickness in early pregnancy. In 1961, doctors realised that the drug was the cause of severe congenital disabilities and it was withdrawn from sale. In the United Kingdom, the most commonly prescribed drug containing thalidomide was called Distaval, manufactured by Distillers (Biochemicals) Ltd. It was given for nausea in pregnancy, nervous tension, migraine headaches, and as a general sedative. Thalidomide was described as completely atoxic - it was said to be almost impossible to take an overdose.

Considered, therefore, a valuable drug, particularly for use in the geriatric field, it was exempt from purchase tax and available under the National Health Service. Distillers took it from the German manufacturers, Chemie Grunenthal in 1958 as a tried and tested product, not requiring research on their part. Following reports of what amounted to an epidemic of births of malformed babies, and side effects of peripheral neuritis in adults in Germany, Chemie Grunenthal reluctantly withdrew the drug in November 1961 and Distillers followed suit in December of that year.

A UK Government warning was not issued until May 1962. Also, the drug was present in a number of medications, including some cough mixtures, but the labelling did not use the word thalidomide, so it inevitably remained in some home drugs cabinets.

At least 20 children were born during and after September 1962 showing typical thalidomide impairments - more than nine months after Distaval was withdrawn, the story of thalidomide in the USA is very different from the European experience. Fortunately, Dr. Francis Kelsey of the US Food and Drug Administration was more alert and would not accept that the drug had been adequately tested for manufacture and distribution there. As a result, only about 20 malformed babies were born in America and these were as a result of limited clinical trials that were carried out.

Josef Mengele victims

Josef Mengele was born, the eldest of 3 children, to Karl and Walburga Mengele in Günzburg, Bavaria, Germany. Mengele's father was a founder of Karl Mengele farm machinery for milling, sawing, and baling, which produces major farm machinery under the name Karl Mengele & Sons.

In 1935, Mengele earned a Ph.D in Anthropology from the University of Munich. In January 1937, at the Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene in Frankfurt, he became the assistant to Dr. Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer who was a leading scientist mostly known for his research in genetics with a particular interest with twins. From this association, Mengele probably developed his life-long fascination with the study of twins. In addition Mengele studied under Theodor Mollison and Eugen Fischer, who had been involved in medical experiments on the Herero tribe in (what is now) Namibia.

In 1937 Mengele joined the Nazi Party. In 1938 he received his medical degree and joined the SS. Mengele was conscripted into the army in 1940 and later volunteered to the medical service of the Waffen-SS, the combat arm of the SS, where he distinguished himself as a soldier. In June 1941 he was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class for his efforts at the Ukrainian Front.

In January 1942, while serving with the SS Wiking Division deep behind Soviet lines, he pulled two German soldiers from a burning tank, and was awarded the Iron Cross First Class as well as the Black Badge for the Wounded and the Medal for the Care of the German People.

Mengele was wounded during this campaign; since he could not return to combat, he was posted at the Race and Resettlement Office in Berlin. He resumed an association with his mentor, von Verschuer, who was at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Genetics and Eugenics in Berlin. Just before he was transferred to Auschwitz, Mengele was promoted to the rank of SS captain in April 1943.

In May 1943, Mengele replaced another doctor who had fallen ill at the Nazi extermination camp Birkenau. On May 24, 1943, he became medical officer of Auschwitz-Birkenau's "Gypsy camp". In August 1944, this camp was liquidated and all its inmates gassed. Subsequently Mengele became Chief Medical Officer of the main infirmary camp at Birkenau.

He was not, though, the Chief Medical Officer of Auschwitz — superior to him was SS-Standortarzt (garrison physician) Eduard Wirths. During his 21-month stay at Auschwitz, Mengele earned the sobriquet "Angel of Death" for the cruelty he visited upon prisoners.

Mengele was referred to as "der weiße Engel" ("the White Angel") by camp inmates because when he stood on the platform inspecting new arrivals and directing some to the right, some to the left (the gas chambers), his white coat and white arms outstretched evoked the image of a white angel. Mengele took turns with the other SS physicians at Auschwitz in meeting incoming prisoners at the camp, where it was determined who would be retained for work and who would be sent to the gas chambers immediately.

In one instance, he drew a line on the wall of the children's block 150 centimetres (about 5 feet) from the floor, and sent those whose heads could not reach the line to the gas chamber. "He had a look that said 'I am the power,'" said one survivor. When it was reported that one block was infested with lice, Mengele ordered the 750 women assigned to it to be gassed. Mengele used Auschwitz as an opportunity to continue his research on heredity, using inmates for human experimentation. He was particularly interested in identical twins; they would be selected and placed in special barracks.

He also recruited Berthold Epstein, a Jewish pediatrician. As a doctor, Epstein proposed to Mengele a study into treatments of the disease called Noma that was noted for particularly affecting children from the camp. While the exact cause of Noma remains uncertain, it is now known that it has a higher occurrence in children suffering from malnutrition and a lower immune system response. Many develop the disease shortly after contracting another illness such as measles or tuberculosis Mengele took an interest in physical abnormalities discovered among the arrivals at the concentration camp.

These included dwarfs, notably the Ovitz family - the children of a Romanian artist, of whom seven of the ten members were dwarfs. Prior to their deportation, they toured in Eastern Europe as the Lilliput Troupe. Mengele often called them "my dwarf family"; to him they seemed to be the perfect expression of "the abnorm".

Mengele's wanted poster

Mengele's experiments also included attempts to take one twin's eyeballs and attach them to the back of the other twin's head, changing eye colour by injecting chemicals into children's eyes, various amputations of limbs, and other brutal surgeries. Rena Gelissen's account of her time in Auschwitz details certain experiments performed on female prisoners around October 1943.

Mengele would experiment on the chosen girls, performing sterilization and shock treatments. Most of the victims died, because of either the experiments or later infections. "Once Mengele's assistant rounded up 14 pairs of Roma twins during the night.

Mengele placed them on his polished marble dissection table and put them to sleep. He then injected chloroform into their hearts, killing them instantly. Mengele then began dissecting and meticulously noting each piece of the twins' bodies." At Auschwitz, Mengele did a number of twin studies.

After the experiment was over, these twins were usually killed and their bodies dissected. He supervised an operation by which two Romani children were sewn together to create conjoined twins; the hands of the children became badly infected where the veins had been resected, this also caused gangrene.

The subjects of Mengele's research were better fed and housed than ordinary prisoners and were, for the time being, safe from the gas chambers.[ When visiting his child subjects, he introduced himself as "Uncle Mengele" and offered them sweets. Some survivors remember that despite his grim acts, he was also called "Mengele the protector"

Closed heart surgery

Medical advances such as blood transfusions and improved anesthesia, developed in the treatment of soldiers during World War II, paved the way for the first heart surgeries. By 1950, closed heart surgery, in which a small hole was cut into a beating heart, was a viable procedure. However, several heart conditions, including congenital heart disorders and damage from rheumatic fever, could not be corrected through a small hole in the heart.

Unfortunately, doctors could not cut open a beating heart without the patient bleeding to death. Temporarily stopping the heart only allowed for four minutes in which to perform the surgery before the patient began to suffer from oxygen deprivation.

In 1950, Canadian surgeon Dr. Bill Bigelow noticed that hibernating animals could survive the extreme winters of Northern Canada by slowing down the beat of their heart. Intrigued by the relationship between cold and circulation, Bigelow performed experimental surgeries on animals in which he used extreme cold to slow down the heart, lessening the body's need for oxygen and extending the amount of time possible for performing surgery.

On this day in 1952, two surgeons from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Walton Lillehei and Dr. John Lewis, successfully used Bigelow's techniques, known as the hypothermic approach, on a human. Using a special blanket, they brought her body temperature down to 81 degrees F, clamped the inflow to her heart to empty it of blood and corrected several small defects.

For the first time, a human had successfully been treated by open-heart surgery. Lewis, Lillehei and their colleagues went on to develop the "heart-lung" technique of maintaining oxygen in the bloodstream while the heart is shut down. Modern open-heart surgeries continue to rely on an improved heart-lung technique.

Christiaan Neethling Barnard

Christiaan Neethling Barnard, who made medical history and was thrust into the international limelight almost instantly in 1967 after performing the first human heart transplant, died on September 2, 2001, in his hotel room while vacationing at the coastal resort of Paphos, Cyprus. Barnard was born in the small town of Beaufort West on South Africa's Great Karroo plateau on November 8, 1922. His father, Adam Hendrik Barnard, was a Dutch Reformed minister. His mother, the former Maria Elizabeth de Sewart, played the church organ. Barnard was one of five boys.

One of his brothers, Abraham, died at the age of 5 years of heart disease. This may have been the reason for Barnard's future walk in life. The family was by no means rich and the young Christiaan Barnard had a modest upbringing. He matriculated from the Beaufort West High School in 1940, and in 1946 he completed his bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degrees (MB, ChB) at the University of Cape Town.

Barnard served his internship at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. In 1948, he married Aletta Louw and moved to the town of Ceres, in the Western Cape, where he served as a family physician. The Barnards had two children, Andre, who later committed suicide at 31 years of age, and Deirdre.

The couple divorced in 1969. In 1951, Barnard returned to Groote Schuur Hospital to serve as the resident medical officer and registrar in the department of medicine. He continued to study in the evenings and received the degree of master of medicine followed by a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Cape Town in 1953. He then served as a registrar in the department of surgery under Professor J. Erasmus.

In 1956, Barnard received a scholarship for a 2-year study abroad. Leaving his small family behind, he traveled to the United States, where he studied general surgery with Owen H. Wangensteen at the University of Minnesota, then chose to train in cardiothoracic surgery under the tutelage of C. Walton Lillehei. He received a master of science in surgery degree in 1958 and in the same year was awarded a doctor of philosophy degree. Barnard returned to South Africa to work at Groote Schuur Hospital, this time as a specialist in cardiothoracic surgery.

Three years after his return, he was appointed head of the department of cardiothoracic surgery and was promoted to the rank of associate professor. For the next few years, Barnard worked on conducting experimental heart surgery on animals in Cape Town, visiting transplant laboratories worldwide, and assembling a surgical team before he felt he was ready to undertake his new task. On December 3, 1967, Barnard stunned the world when he led the surgical team that performed the first human-to-human heart transplant.

The transplanted organ was sustained for 18 days with intense immunosuppression. Fiction had become scientific fact and the distinctions between life and death had become blurred and rearranged. The concept of human heart transplantation, conceived in the corridors of the laboratories of transplant pioneers such as Norman Shumway, Richard Lower, James Hardy, and Adrian Kantrowitz, became a reality and the seeds that were planted across the Atlantic gave birth in South Africa. Christiaan Barnard became a household name and the unknown surgeon became an international superstar overnight. "On Saturday, I was a surgeon in South Africa, very little known.

On Monday I was world renowned," Barnard recalled on a weekend in 1967. He was celebrated around the world for his daring accomplishment. Handsome and only 45 years old at the time, he graced the covers of magazines, toured the world visiting dignitaries and heads of states, and became a popular figure even to the layman on the street.

He enjoyed his fame quite well. "Any man who says he doesn't like applause and recognition is either a fool or a liar," Barnard once told an audience. "You learn from mistakes, but success gives you the courage to go on and do even more." In 1970, Barnard married Barbara Zoellner, then 19 years old, and together they had two boys: Christiaan, Jr, and Frederick. Their marriage, too, ended after 12 years.

During these years, Barnard developed an interest in writing. He wrote and edited several books on medicine and health and authored and coauthored several novels and articles in scholarly journals. He published his autobiography, One Life, in 1970 and followed it later with his memoirs in The Second Life (1993). His books sold worldwide and allowed him to generously donate his royalties to the Christiaan Barnard Foundation to support research on heart disease and transplantation. In 1972, he was promoted to professor of surgical science at the University of Cape Town.

Louis Washkansky first heart transplant

Barnard continued to practice medicine till the age of 61. In 1983, he took an early retirement from his clinical practice, in part due to the painful rheumatoid arthritis that was diagnosed when he was in Minneapolis. He spent 2 years in Oklahoma City as the scientist-in-residence at the Oklahoma Transplantation Institute of the Baptist Medical Center.

He returned to South Africa in 1988 and remarried, this time to 23-year-old Karin Setzkorn, a beautiful young model, and together they had two children, Armin and Lara. That marriage also ended in divorce last year. In his later years, Barnard had skin cancer on his face and underwent painful laser procedures and skin grafts at a clinic in Parow (South Africa).

More recently, he had been spending most of his time in Austria. His most recent book, Fifty Ways to a Healthier Heart, was published in May 2001. Beside performing the first human heart transplant, Barnard is also credited with being the first to choose as heart donor a brain-dead accident victim. The Uniform Brain Death Act was passed in 1978, expanding for the first time the traditional definition of death. He is also credited with performing the first heterotopic piggy-back human heart transplants.

1950s English biochemist Rodney Porter and the American biochemist Gerald Edelman expand the knowledge of the body's immunization system by detailing the structure of the antibody molecule. 1950s Researchers isolate urokinase, an enzyme that helps clear the urinary tract of blood clots from human urine. 1950s C. Walton Lillehei of the University of Minnesota successfully applies cross circulation technique. The surgical community is not impressed and describes it as the only technique with a potential 200% mortality. 1950s Toronto's Wilfred G. Bigelow performs laboratory experiments with animals using hypothermia at 86 degrees C. 1951 Dr. Clarence Dennis performs the first human open heart surgery cases involving extracorporeal circulation.

The patient did not survive. 1951 IBM develops the Gibbon Model II heart-lung machine, delivered to Jefferson Medical College Hospital on June 19, 1951. 1951 Karlson, evaluation of a cellulose membrane oxygenator. 1951 Dr. Joseph E. Murray, first kidney transplantation, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston. 1952 Paul Zoll develops the first cardiac pacemaker. 1952 First hypothermic application on humans by John Lewis and Richard Varco at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis using Bigelow's technique at 82 degrees C. 1952 Charles Hufnagel sews an artificial valve into a patient's aorta.

1953 Dr. Frank F. Allbritten develops the left ventricular vent thus solving intra-cardiac air complications. 1953 Dr. John H. Gibbon, Jr., Jefferson Medical College Hospital, Philadelphia. First successful application of extracorporeal circulation in a human, an 18 year old female with an atrial septal defect. 1953 Dr. Michael DeBakey, Baylor University, Houston, implants a seamless, knit Dacron tube for surgical repairs and/or replacement of occluded vessels or vascular aneurysms. 1953 Lillehei, controlled cross-circulation using live human donor lungs for oxygenation of patients' blood during infant and pediatric surgery.

 Gibbon Model III heart-lung machine

1954 IBM develops the Gibbon Model III heart-lung machine, delivered to Jefferson Medical College in July, 1954. 1954 Nationwide application of Jonas Salk's polio vaccine. 1955 American physician and virologist Jonas Edward Salk introduced a killed-virus vaccine against polimyelitis. 1955 Melrose suggested the deliberate manipulation of the ionic environment of the myocardium (cardioplegia). 1955 Clowes, large flat multi-layered ethylcellulose membrane oxygenator; used clinically on several patients. 1955 Mustard, used excised lungs from rhesus monkeys to oxygenate blood during pediatric surgery.

1957 Wild et. al. report the use of ultrasound to visualize the heart non-invasively. 1957 Dr. C. Walton Lillehei and Earl Bakken, electronic engineer develop the first portable pacemaker. Bakken later forms the Medtronics Corporation. 1957 Dr. Willem Kolff and Dr. Tetsuzo Akutzus at the Cleveland Clinic implant the first artificial heart in a dogs.

The animal survived for 90 minutes. 1958 Dr.'s Norman Schumway and Richard Lower begin a series of experiments in animal heart transplantation. 1958 Dr. Mason Sones, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation develops coronary angiography. 1959 Marcello Siniscalco of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Arno G. Motulsky of the University of Washington diagnose hemolytic anemia. 1

960s The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) provide numerous contributions to medicine. Examples not only included the observation and documentation of metabolic and physiological stress but inventions like telemetry, Teflon, titanium, freeze-drying, microwave, fiberoptics, advances in computerization etc. 1960s Dr. Richard Dyer pioneers a renewed interest in intraoperative autotransfusion leading to the development of the first commercial auto-transfusion apparatus.

1960s American physiologist Judith Pool discovered that slowly thawed frozen plasma yielded deposits high in Factor VIII. The deposits called cryoprecipitates are further refined. 1960s Vaccine against hepatitis.1960s Issac Harary, UCLA laboratory biochemist discovered the "automaticity" of heart cells leading to investigations at the cellular level. 1960 Medtronic develops the first fully implantable pacemaker. 1960 Dr. Albert Starr, Oregon surgeon develops the Starr- Edwards heart valve.

One of the most successful heart valves produced until the late 1970s. 1961 Dr. R.L. Swank, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center observed that the microviscosity of stored blood was significantly greater than that of fresh blood leading to the discovery and filtration theory of microaggregates. 1961 Callaghan, developed an artificial placenta for extracorporeal support of newborns with RDS. 1962 Moulopoulos et. al. suggested the use of a single chambered intra-aortic balloon, positioned in the descending thoracic aorta, to accomplish the same hemodynamics as did arterial counterpulsation.

1964 Dotter and Judkins used tapered Teflon dilating catheters during arteriography to dilate occluded peripheral arteries. 1964 Bretschneider introduces cold cardioplegia. 1965 Raskkind, developed a low volume disposable pumpless bubble oxygenator for use as a substitute lung on children with cystic fibrosis, RDS, and CHD. 1966 Tchobroutsky, long term support of puppies and fetal lambs in a controlled environment using extracorporeal circulation. 1967 Rene Favaloro, an Argentine surgeon working in the United States performs the first coronary bypass operation using the patient's native saphenous vein as an autograft.

Jarvik series of artificial hearts

1969 Dr. Denton Cooley, Texas Heart Institute, Houston, Texas, implanted a total artificial heart designed by Domingo Liotta. The device served as a "bridge" for cardiac transplantation until a donor heart was found, 64 hours. The cardiac transplant functioned for an additional 32 hours until the patient died of pneumonia. 1969 Zapol and Kolobow, "artificial placentation."

Prematurely delivered fetal lambs connected to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenator by umbilical cord, and placed in a tank of artificial amniotic fluid. 1969 Dorson, long-term partial bypass support of a 1.6 Kg. premature infant with RDS for 20 hours. 1970 Robert Jarvik, Ph.D. designs the Jarvik series of artificial hearts.

1971 White, ECMO on newborn babies using veno-venous bypass for up to 9 days. 1972 Hill, adult ECMO for shock-lung syndrome; perfusion for 75 hours. Survived. 1972 Kolobow, ECMO on an 11 year old boy for 10 days. Survived. 1974 Dr. Gerald Buckberg advocates the use of blood/ crystalloid cardioplegia fortified with substrates. 1975 Dr. Willem Kolff, University of Utah, designs a nuclear-powered artificial heart (Westinghouse Corporation). 1975 British scientists George Kohler and Cesar Milstein of Cambridge's Medical research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology develop the monoclonal antibody.

1975 Biomedicus Bio-Pump (Centrifugal) introduced for clinical application. 1975 Introduction of computerized axial tomography, the "CAT-scanner." 1977 Dr. Andreas Gruntiz, Switzerland experiment with transluminal coronary angioplasty. Gruntiz later relocates to Emory University, Atlanta. 1980s Michel Mirowski and a team of scientists at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland develop the automatic implantable cardiac defibrillator (AICD).

1980 Bergman et. al. describe femoral artery percutaneous insertion of an intra-aortic balloon using a modification of the Seldinger technique.. 1981 January. Cyclosporin-A introduced. An immunosuppressive drug it reopened the medical interest in organ transplantation. 1981 Dr. Denton Cooley implants another pneumatically- driven artificial heart designed by Dr. Akutsu. This artificial heart was used for 27 hours as a "bridge" to cardiac transplantation. 1982 Dr. William DeVries implants the Jarvik-7 into Barney Clark, DDS, Dr. Clark lives 112 days. 1983 Cobe Laboratories introduce the Model CML (Cobe Membrane Lung) a single pumphead membrane. 1984 Loma Linda Medical Center, Baby girl Faye's native heart is explanted and replaced with a baboon heart. She survived for 3 weeks.

1901 Karl Landsteiner

1901 Karl Landsteiner introduces the system to classify blood into A, B, AB, and O groups 1913 Dr. Paul Dudley White pioneers the use of the electrocardiograph - ECG 1921 Edward Mellanby discovers that lack of vitamin D in the diet causes rickets Earle Dickson Invented the Band-Aid 1922 Insulin first used to treat diabetes. 1923 First vaccine developed for diphtheria.

1926 First vaccine developed for whooping cough 1927 First vaccine developed for tuberculosis First vaccine developed for tetanus. 1928 Sir Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin 1935 First vaccine developed for yellow fever Percy Lavon Julian synthesized the medicines physostigmine for glaucoma and cortisone for rheumatoid arthritis 1937 First vaccine developed for typhus Bernard Fantus pioneers the use the first blood bank in Chicago 1942 Doctor Karl Theodore Dussik publishes the first paper on medical ultrasonics - ultrasound

1943 Selman A. Waksman discovers the antibiotic streptomycin 1945 First vaccine developed for influenza 1950 John Hopps invented the first cardiac pacemaker 1952 Paul Zoll develops the first cardiac pacemaker Jonas Salk develops the first polio vaccine Rosalind Franklin uses X-ray diffraction to study the structure of DNA 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick work on the structure of the DNA molecule 1954 Gertrude Elion patented a leukemia-fighting drug Dr. Joseph E. Murray performs the first kidney transplant 1955 Jonas Salk develops the first polio vaccine 1963 Thomas Fogarty invented the balloon embolectomy catheter 1964 First vaccine developed for measles.

1967 First vaccine developed for mumps Dr. Christiaan Barnard performs the first human heart transplant 1970 First vaccine developed for rubella 1974 First vaccine developed for chicken pox 1975 Robert S. Ledley invents CAT-Scans 1977 First vaccine developed for pneumonia. 1978 First test-tube baby is born First vaccine developed for meningitis.

1980 Smallpox is eradicated 1981 First vaccine developed for hepatitis B 1983 HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is identified 1984 Alec Jeffreys devises a genetic fingerprinting method 1985 Willem J. Kolff invented the artificial kidney dialysis machine 1992 First vaccine developed for hepatitis A. 1996 Dolly the sheep becomes the first clone.

Funny doctor poster

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