Mayo-Gibbon Heart-Lung Machine

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
Object Name
heart-lung machine
date made
ca 1960s
place made
United States: Minnesota, Rochester
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
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
overall: 71 3/4 in x 37 3/4 in x 31 in; 182.245 cm x 95.885 cm x 78.74 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Edwards Lifesciences LLC
Artificial Organs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Artificial Hearts
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Dr. Kirklin repaired my ventricular septal defect and pulmonary stenosis in May 1957. I was 7 years old at the time. The repairs provided a virtually health life. It is the year 2021 and I am approaching my 71st birthday. I recently went through a number of tests as my new cardiologist wanted to be sure all was well with me. I have a slight murmur, high pretension and high cholesterol both treated with medication. My health is amazing to all of my physicians. Those who have benefited from Dr. Gibbon and Dr. Kirklin are truly blessed.
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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