Heart surgery pioneer dies

Michael E. DeBakey, heart surgeon, inventor, teacher, and research advocate, died late last Friday, July 11th, at the age of 99. DeBakey was "the greatest surgeon of the twentieth century," his colleague George Noon said in a linkurl:statement;http://www.methodisthealth.com/tmhs/newsItem.do?channelId=-1073829253&contentId=1073905926&contentType=NEWS_CONTENT_TYPE from Methodist Hospital in Houston, where he spent most of his career. During his 70 years as a surgeon, DeBakey performed over 60,

Megan Scudellari
Jul 13, 2008
Michael E. DeBakey, heart surgeon, inventor, teacher, and research advocate, died late last Friday, July 11th, at the age of 99. DeBakey was "the greatest surgeon of the twentieth century," his colleague George Noon said in a linkurl:statement;http://www.methodisthealth.com/tmhs/newsItem.do?channelId=-1073829253&contentId=1073905926&contentType=NEWS_CONTENT_TYPE from Methodist Hospital in Houston, where he spent most of his career. During his 70 years as a surgeon, DeBakey performed over 60,000 heart surgeries at the linkurl:Methodist Hospital;http://www.methodisthealth.com/tmhs/mdhvc.do?channelId=-1073833234&contentId=1073790473&contentType=SERVICE_CONTENT_TYPE and served as President, and later, Chancellor of the linkurl:Baylor School of Medicine.;http://www.bcm.edu/pa/debakey/index.cfm Outside of the operating room, DeBakey served as advisor to President Johnson and other world leaders, and worked as chairman of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, a champion organization for linkurl:animal use in biomedical research.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/7735/ In 1949, he led the movement to establish the National Library of Medicine, which now holds many of the 1,000-plus medical reports, papers, and books he authored. In 1932, while still in medical school at...
test surgeon of the twentieth century," his colleague George Noon said in a linkurl:statement;http://www.methodisthealth.com/tmhs/newsItem.do?channelId=-1073829253&contentId=1073905926&contentType=NEWS_CONTENT_TYPE from Methodist Hospital in Houston, where he spent most of his career. During his 70 years as a surgeon, DeBakey performed over 60,000 heart surgeries at the linkurl:Methodist Hospital;http://www.methodisthealth.com/tmhs/mdhvc.do?channelId=-1073833234&contentId=1073790473&contentType=SERVICE_CONTENT_TYPE and served as President, and later, Chancellor of the linkurl:Baylor School of Medicine.;http://www.bcm.edu/pa/debakey/index.cfm Outside of the operating room, DeBakey served as advisor to President Johnson and other world leaders, and worked as chairman of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, a champion organization for linkurl:animal use in biomedical research.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/7735/ In 1949, he led the movement to establish the National Library of Medicine, which now holds many of the 1,000-plus medical reports, papers, and books he authored. In 1932, while still in medical school at Tulane University in Louisiana, DeBakey devised the "roller pump," a vital component to the heart-lung machine for open-heart surgery. He went on to develop linkurl:many innovations;http://www.bcm.edu/pa/debakey/contributions.cfm now routinely used in heart surgery, including bypass pumps and artificial heart grafts. He was the first surgeon to successfully implant a partial artificial heart, a technology he helped develop. DeBakey did not put down his scalpel until 1998, at the age of 90. Eight years later, he successfully underwent surgery for a damaged aorta - a procedure he developed. In April this year, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor. "Dr. DeBakey single-handedly raised the standard of medical care," Noon said in the statement. "Physicians everywhere are indebted to him for his contributions to medicine."

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