Medical Definition of Gibbon heart-lung machine

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Gibbon heart-lung machine: The first heart-lung machine. Named for the American physician John H. Gibbon who built it in 1937. This machine used two roller pumps and could replace the heart and lungs of a cat but was too small for dogs or humans. Gibbon joined forces in 1946 with Thomas Watson, an engineer and chairman of IBM. Gibbon, Watson, and five IBM engineers created an improved machine that "minimized haemolysis and prevented air bubbles from entering the circulation." See: Gibbon, John H., Jr.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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