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History Of Cardiac Surgery At Yale

Since their establishment in 1810 and 1833, respectively, Yale School of Medicine (originally Medical Institution of Yale College) and New Haven Hospital (originally State Hospital) have supported basic, translational, and clinical investigation for the betterment of humanity and advancement of human knowledge. Among the many contributors to human knowledge have been numerous cardiac and thoracic surgeons and others with interests in cardiothoracic biology, disease, and therapies. Some highlights are:

  1. 1942: Gustav Lindskog leads first chemotherapy clinical trial evaluating nitrogen mustard for malignancy
  2. 1947: Ruth Whittemore establishes first pediatric cardiology referral center in New England
  3. 1948: William Sewell, Jr. builds first clinical ventricular assist device and artificial heart and demonstrated effective circulatory support in animals. This device is now housed in the National Museum of American History.
  4. 1954: William Glenn develops cavopulmonary “Glenn” shunt
  5. 1959: First implantation of radiofrequency inductive electrical pacer
  6. 1966: First use of radiofrequency-induced diaphragmatic pacing with central hypoventilation syndrome
  7. 1971: First use of radiofrequency-induced diaphragmatic pacing in patients with respiratory paralysis
  8. 1990s: William Hellenbrand and John Fahey pioneer transcatheter approaches to congenital heart defects