CME INDIA Presentation by ⚜ Dr. M. Gowri Sankar, MD, Senior Assistant Professor, Dept. of General Medicine, Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore.
Today’s History Feature:
Dr. Christiaan Barnard
(Nov 8, 1922 – Sep 2, 2001)
💠South African Cardiac Surgeon
🔹Barnard and his three brothers were brought up from a poor background and studied from the local public schools.
🔹He then got an opportunity to study medicine at the University of Cape Town Medical School, where he obtained his graduation in 1945 and did his MD from the same university.
🔹As soon as he completed his studies, he started performing experiments and gained great recognition for his research on fatal birth defect which is known as congenital intestinal atresia.
🔹In 1955, Barnard travelled to the University of Minnesota, United States. There he met his mentor Dr. Walt Lillehei, who was a Chief of Thoracic surgery and a pioneer in Cardiac surgery. Consequently, he got inspired by his work.
🔹After returning to his own country South Africa, he introduced the open-heart surgery by designing the artificial valves for the human heart and experimented his first heart transplantation with dogs. Thereby he prepared for his first human heart transplantation in 1967.
🔹On 3 December 1967, Dr.Barnard performed the World’s First Human to Human Heart Transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town. At the age of 45 years, he made this medical history and stunned the world.
🔹Actually Dr. Barnard had transplanted the heart of a young woman called Denise Darvall, who was declared brain dead due to an accident, to a 54 years old Louis Washkansky, who suffered from extensive coronary artery disease. After transplantation, Washkansky regained consciousness and lived for eighteen days – unfortunately, he died due to pneumonia.
🔹Thereupon, he carried out his second transplant and that patient led an active life for almost 19 months.
🔹In addition to many heart transplants, Dr. Barnard proceeded his innovative work on prosthetic heart valves and piggy-back heart transplants, as well as the treatment of rare congenital heart defects in children. Also, he authored more than 200 articles in medical journals.
🔹Moreover, he established the “Christiaan Barnard Foundation” and dedicated it for helping underprivileged children all over the world.
🔹At the end of his life, he declared as “The heart transplant wasn’t such a big deal in surgery.” But the point to emphasize is that be prepared to take the risk. Hence, my philosophy is that the Biggest Risk in life is not taking the Risk.
A Day to Commemorate…
A Surgical Visionary
Dr. Christiaan Barnard 🙏🏼
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