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John H. Gibbon, Jr.

AKA John Heysham Gibbon, Jr.

Born: 29-Sep-1903
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
Died: 5-Feb-1973
Location of death: Philadelphia, PA
Cause of death: Heart Failure

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Doctor, Inventor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Open-heart surgery

Military service: US Army Medical Corps (to Lt. Col., 1940-44)

American surgeon John H. Gibbon, Jr. designed the first heart-lung machines, making open-heart surgery possible. Frustrated at his inability to help patients with serious heart or lung damage, he invented the pump oxygenator, a machine capable of keeping a patient's blood circulating and oxygenated without the heart or lungs. On 10 May 1935 he showed the machine's potential by using it to maintain the cardiac and respiratory functions of a cat during surgery. Over the next eighteen years he developed a better machine with technical support from his friend, Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM, who sent his company's technicians to work on the project under Gibbon's direction. Gibbon performed the first human heart bypass surgery on 6 May 1953, successfully repairing an atrial septal defect for 18-year-old Cecelia Bavolek, whose heart and lungs were stopped for 26 of the surgery's 45 minutes.

Father: John Heysham Gibbon (surgeon)
Mother: Marjorie Young Gibbon (b. 1872, m. 1901, d. 1956)
Sister: Marjorie Young Gibbon Battles
Brother: Samuel Young Gibbon
Brother: Robert Gibbon
Wife: Mary Hopkinson Gibbon (Gibbon's research assistant, m. 1931)

    University: BA, Princeton University (1923)
    Medical School: MD, Thomas Jefferson University (1927)
    Scholar: Surgery, Harvard Medical School
    Teacher: Surgery, University of Pennsylvania (1931-34)
    Teacher: Surgery, Harvard Medical School (1934-45)
    Professor: Surgery, University of Pennsylvania (1945-46)
    Professor: Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University (1946-67)
    Professor: Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine (1959-60)

    National Inventors Hall of Fame
    Distinguished Service Award from the International College of Surgery 1959
    Research Achievement Award from the American Heart Association 1965
    Lasker Award 1968
    Annals of Surgery Senior Editor (1947-57)
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Association of Thoracic Surgery
    American College of Surgeons Board of Governors (1950-64)
    American Medical Association
    American Surgical Association
    National Academy of Sciences
    Society of Clinical Surgery
    Heart Attack Jul-1972
    Heart Attack 5-Feb-1973 (fatal)
    English Ancestry

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