First Open Heart Surgery
In May 1955, Rochester Methodist Hospital was the first hospital to use the Mayo-Gibbon mechanical pump-oxygenator for an operation inside of a heart. The first patient to benefit from the apparatus was a child with a heart malformation. During the open-heart operation, the Mayo-Gibbon machine functioned as the girl's heart and lungs, directing blood flow through the machine and enabling surgeons to operate in a "dry field."
Four months later, the Mayo-Gibbon mechanical pump-oxygenator was demonstrated on the first nationally televised broadcast to originate from Rochester, Minn. The Sept. 12, 1955 program, broadcast from a Rochester Methodist Hospital operating room, was viewed by an estimated 6 to 9 million people.