DeBakey, Michael (Ellis)

DeBakey, Michael (Ellis)

biographical name

(born Sept. 7, 1908, Lake Charles, La., U.S.—died July 11, 2008, Houston, Texas) U.S. cardiovascular surgeon. He received an M.D. from Tulane University. In 1932 he devised the “roller pump,” an essential component of the heart-lung machine. His work with the U.S. Surgeon General's office led to the development of mobile army surgical hospitals (MASH units) and the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital research system. He also developed an efficient method of grafting frozen blood vessels to correct aortic aneurysms and pioneered the use of plastic tubing instead of grafts (1953). He was the first to perform a successful coronary artery bypass, and in 1966 he was the first to insert a mechanical device into the chest to assist the heart. He edited the Yearbook of Surgery (1958–70) and served on many medical editorial boards. His many awards include the Medal of Freedom and membership in the Academy of Athens.

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