Mayo-Gibbon Heart-Lung Machine

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The invention of the heart-lung machine is one of the most significant contributions in the history of cardiac surgery. These machines are used to temporarily replace the function of the heart and lungs, supporting the circulation of blood through the body. The natural heart is by-passed and the heart-lung machine takes over for the patients organs.
The Mayo-Gibbon heart-lung machine was patterned after the Gibbon heart-lung machine designed by John Gibbon, M.D. in 1949. Four years later John Kirklin and his associates at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota began using and improving upon a Gibbon-type heart-lung machine.
In the past three decades, the application of heart-lung machines has been greatly expanded not only for cardiopulmonary bypass during open-heart surgery but also for long-term pulmonary or cardiopulmonary support, called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) or precutaneous cardiopulmonary support (PCPS).
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1957
place made
United States: Minnesota, Rochester
Physical Description
chromium plate (overall material)
stainless steel (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
plexiglass (overall material)
teflon (overall material)
overall: 182 cm x 77 cm x 96 cm; 71 5/8 in x 30 5/16 in x 37 13/16 in
part 6: 47 cm x 7 cm x 15.6 cm; 18 1/2 in x 2 3/4 in x 6 1/8 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Edwards Lifesciences, LLC
Artificial Organs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Artificial Hearts
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Dr. Kirklin did a tetralogy of fallot on me in 1964. I was 6. Flew me in from MT. Never had any problems since!
I had open heart surgery at Mayo Clinic in 1960. I was 16.

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