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Posts Tagged ‘great inventions’

In any field  , errors and mistakes  transform into   experience in retrospect. (Of course only  if we  realize  our mistakes !) . Many would argue prevention of such errors is the  only way to move  forward in science  , but ,the opposite could also be true.

In Medicine ,

  • Most errors are mild ,
  • Some errors  can   be fatal but it helps us prevent further fatalities.
  • Some errors create history  and  re-define the science.

That’s   what  happened on 1958 , to be precise on  October  3oth , 1958  in a lonely laboratory of Henry  Ford hospital/Cleveland clinic *

*A correction -This  invention actually happened in Cleveland.  ( Sones learnt  all his techniques in Henry ford)

When  Sones along  with his assistant were trying  to do an  Aortogram in a patient with RHD,  the entire dye meant for aorta went straight  into  the right coronary artery.When every one was stunned ,the  patient happily  survived the injection  with a few skipped beats.

The man behind  this horrendous medical mistake was   Mr . Sones . He   was guilty for many days ,  spent many sleepless nights  ( In spite of  the patient surviving  the episode ). In fact , he was much amused  about the patient’s  survival . At that point of time,  even a spill over of dye into coronary artery was considered forbidden.  He pondered over the incident for months  .

Had  two queries  lingering in his mind .

  1. How the  right coronary artery  was able to withstand the 40cc dye  injected with  force .
  2. If 40 m l was tolerated ,  well what about routinely injecting  3-5 ml for visualizing the coronary  tree   by intentionally  seeking the coronary ostium .

That was the moment , the concept of diagnostic coronary  angiogram  was born . He published his observation as an  abstract in Circulation journal. Later he did many experiments  with video  engineering at Kodak labs , X  ray  technology to improve the cine imaging .By 1964 , he devised a perfect protocol  for doing  selective coronary angiogram. Then along with Rene Favaloro he pioneered CABG surgery in USA.

Final message

Cardiac  catheterisation was invented by  Forssman , Cournand , and Richards ,(Nobel prize 1956 ). It was  Sones who took it into the coronary arteries  and thus it was  made possible  for a whole new specialty  of coronary  diagnostics  and therapeutic PCI  which was  conceptualized by another extraordinary human life called   Gruentzig. Sones along with Gruentzig definitely deserve a Nobel in medicine which i think will happen soon ! They lived a great life constantly thinking, innovating  putting  patients interest in the fore front .

Mean while , I argue our youngsters  to  portray  the images of  these giants in  every   cath lab they  work   .You may get their blessings from heaven  , provided you do your interventions with integrity and honesty without any conflict of interest in the patient care.

Do not cry foul when some genuine errors happen in cath lab.Few among us (like Sones ) may innovate those mistakes into glory !

Reference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._Mason_Sones#cite_note-3

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2009/10/1030first-coronary-angiogram/

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