John Heysham Gibbon

John Heysham Gibbon, Jr. ( born September 29, 1903 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, † February 5, 1973 ) was an American surgeon and inventor of the heart - lung machine.


His parents were the surgeon Prof. John Heysham Gibbon sen. and his wife Marjorie Young Gibbon. He arrived at Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1923. Having at Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia in 1927, he graduated as a doctor of medicine, he worked two years in the Pennsylvania Hospital, where he became interested in medical research. As of February 1930, he worked in Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital. Here he met his future wife Mary ( Maly ) Hopkinson ( 1906-1986 ) know. From 1946 he was Professor of Surgery (later Samuel D. Gross Professor ) and to 1967 Head of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College.

When monitoring a patient with pulmonary embolism in October 1930 he had the idea of cardiopulmonary bypass. In 1935, he built the prototype of a heart -lung machine, with a cat survived about half an hour. When he, his research continued after the Second World War, where he served in Southeast Asia, presented a medical student in 1946 to contact the chairman of IBM, and the engineer Thomas J. Watson forth to him in the next seven years, both technically (Watson himself and five IBM engineers ) and financially helped to design an efficient heart-lung machine. After he previously started already during the operation of an 11 -month-old infant, which still, however, died during surgery, he was able to provide in the operation of atrial septal an 18- year-old girl, the operability of the machine to the test on May 6, 1953. But he could not repeat this single success and wanted him as an individual case initially not even publish it. The heart -lung machine was then Viking Olof Bjork (Sweden) and others, as well as their use in particular of John Webster Kirklin at the Mayo Clinic mid-1950s further developed so that it is now used routinely in the operating room, especially in open heart surgery.

He was more honorary doctorates ( Princeton University, Buffalo, University of Pennsylvania, Dickinson College). He received the Albert Lasker Award in 1968 for Clinical Medical Research, 1960 Gairdner Foundation International Award, Distinguished Service Awards of both the International Society of Surgery and the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the American Heart Association 's Research Achievement Award. He was Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.