Health & Medicine
The Museum's collections of medical science artifacts represent nearly all aspects of health and medical practice. Highlights include early X-ray apparatuses, such as one of Wilhelm Roentgen's tubes, penicillin mold from Alexander Fleming’s experiments, and Jonas Salk's original polio vaccine. More recent acquisitions include the first artificial heart implanted in a human, the earliest genetically engineered drugs, and materials related to David, the "Bubble Boy." Other artifacts range from artificial limbs and implant devices to bloodletting and dental instruments, beauty products, and veterinary equipment. The contents of a medieval apothecary shop and an 1890s drugstore form part of the collections, along with patent and alternative medicines. The collections also document the many differing perspectives on health and medical issues, from patients, family members, doctors, nurses, medical students, and out-of-the-mainstream health practitioners.
"Health & Medicine - Overview" showing 1 items.
- This is the first total artificial heart implanted in a human body. It was developed by Domingo Liotta and implanted by surgeon Denton Cooley on April 4, 1969, at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston. The recipient, Haskell Karp, lived for sixty-four hours with the artificial heart pumping oxygenated blood through his body until a human heart was available for transplant.
- Although Karp died soon after receiving a real heart, and some criticized the surgery as unethical because it was without formal review by the medical community, the procedure demonstrated the viability of artificial hearts as a bridge to transplant in cardiac patients.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Liotta, Domingo
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- accession number
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center