November 3, 1962

Problems of Heart-Lung Machines

JAMA. 1962;182(5):54-55. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050440106040

Measures enabling surgeons to cope more effectively with some blood problems arising from the use of heart-lung machines during open-heart surgery were reported at the American Heart Association meeting.

Use of an alcohol compound to reduce the breakdown rate of red blood cells, previously correlated with the occurrence of kidney failure in about 2% of the patients undergoing open heart surgery.

A way to deal with certain marked changes in the volume of blood circulating in the body following open heart surgery, which may prove fatal unless properly managed.

Dr. George A. Porter, spokesman for a surgical team from the University of Oregon Medical School at Portland, reported the use of a water-dissolved alcohol sugar, mannitol, in 23 patients whose operations carried a high risk of excess red blood cell breakdown and potential kidney failure.

The mannitol was added