About 50 years ago,1 the first successful open heart operations were performed with cardiopulmonary bypass. To allow for reliable intracardiac repair, a man-made machine was responsible for the work of the patient’s heart and lungs for a limited period of time. Of course, the so-called pump oxygenator, a device maintaining gas exchange (oxygenation and CO2 removal) and blood pressure, was at the core. A typical heart–lung machine used in the 1950s is shown in Figure 1, and a lot of ancillary equipment has been added since. However, the main basic components, i.e. the artificial lung (at that time excentric rotating drums) and the pump, can still be found in modern machines that now rely on disposable membranes for gas exchange.
- L K von Segesser, ├óÔé¼┼øFrom the magic mountain to rocket science├óÔé¼┼Ñ, Interactive Cardio-vascular and Thoracic Surgery, 2 (2003) (full text free at http://www.ICVTS.org).
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- L K von Segesser, S Westaby, J Pomar, D Loisance, P Groscurth and M Turina, ├óÔé¼┼øLess invasive aortic valve surgery: rationale and technique├óÔé¼┼Ñ, Eur. J. of Cardio-thoracic Surg., 15 (1999), pp. 781├óÔé¼ÔÇ£785.
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- D Jegger, X Mueller, G Mucciolo, A Mucciolo, Y Boone, I Seigneul, J Horisberger and L K von Segesser, ├óÔé¼┼øA new expandable cannula to increase venous return during peripheral access cardiopulmonary bypass surgery├óÔé¼┼Ñ, Int. J. Artif. Organs., 25 (2002), pp. 135├óÔé¼ÔÇ£140.
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