The Deep Chill
On this date in 1952, the deep-chill technique was used for the first time in surgery. Floyd John Lewis, M.D., an associate professor of surgery at the Medical School of the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, performed heart surgery on a 5-year-old girl whose body temperature (except for her head) had been reduced to 79 degrees. The lower body temperature slows bodily functions, reducing the danger of oxygen deprivation and related complications. The operation lasted 58 minutes, and the patient recovered and left the hospital just 11 days later.
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