The Westminster Profound Hypothermia Unit, for heart surgery, England, 1959-1961
Charles E Drew (1916-1987) at the Westminster Hospital London devised this ‘Profound Hypothermia Apparatus’ to carry out heart surgery. The body temperature was lowered to 15º C to induce hypothermia and stop the heart beating long enough to carry out surgery. When cooled, blood becomes the texture of ice cream so Drew called upon ice-cream specialists APV Company to help devise his machine. Although never a commercial success, Drew was so taken with his machine that he used it for the remainder of his 22-year career.
Related Themes and Topics
Glossary: blood (animal material)
Fluid that circulates in the principal vascular system of vertebrate animals. W.
Glossary: heating systems
Assemblies of interrelated equipment designed to provide heat to buildings and other structures.
Glossary: heat exchangers
Devices that transfer heat between two physically separated fluids; generally consists of a cylindrical shell with longitudinal tubes; one fluid flows inside, the other outside. DAC.
Glossary: profound hypothermia unit
An instrument used during heart surgery to induce hypothermia and slow down the beating of the heart
A condition where the core body temperature drops below the level necessary to perform basic functions. In humans this is 35°C. Hypothermia is often caused by over exposure to cold conditions.