History of the Heart

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Milestones in Cardiology

1628  William Harvey, an English Physician, first describes blood circulation.

1706  Raymond de Vieussens, a French anatomy professor, first describes the structure of the heart's chambers and vessels.

1733  Stephen Hales, an English clergyman and scientist, first measures blood pressure.

1816  Rene T. H. Laennec, a French physician, invents the stethoscope.

1903  Willem Einthoven, a Dutch physiologist, develops the electrocardiograph.

1912  James B. Herrick, an American physician, first describes heart disease resulting from hardening of the arteries.

1938  Robert E. Gross, an American surgeon, performs first heart surgery.

1951  Charles Hufnagel, an American surgeon, develops a plastic valve to repair an aortic valve.

1952  F. John Lewis, an American surgeon, performs first successful open heart surgery.

1953  John H. Gibbon, an American surgeon, first uses a mechanical heart and blood purifier.

1961  J. R. Jude, an American cardiologist, leads a team performing the first external cardiac massage to restart a heart.

1965  Michael DeBakey and Adrian Kantrowitz, American surgeons, implant mechanical devices to help a diseased heart.

1967  Christiaan Barnard, a South African surgeon, performs the first whole heart transplant from one person to another.

1982  Willem DeVries, an American surgeon, implants a permanent artificial heart, designed by Robert Jarvik, an American physician, into a patient.

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