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June 1957

The Closure of Cardiac Septal Defects: The Beginning of By-Pass Surgery at a Medium-Sized Private Hospital

Author Affiliations

Des Moines, Iowa

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;74(6):918-928. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280120096011

Three years ago the staff at Iowa Methodist Hospital, in Des Moines, established a laboratory for cardiac catheterization studies. As we physicians, and the technicians who assist us, acquired experience in the performance of that work, and as we processed our large backlog of diagnostic problems, we turned up a substantial number of congenital cardiac defects for which we could provide no treatment. Extracorporeal circulation at that time had only recently facilitated the performance of open cardiac surgery, and we referred a number of our most urgent cases to the University of Minnesota or to the Mayo Clinic, at Rochester, Minn., for treatment. The results of surgery in those patients were most dramatic, and suddenly there was new hope for a multitude of previously incurable cardiac invalids.

Along with our fellow specialists the world over, we took pride in the techniques that had been put to use elsewhere, but our

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