- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Richard A. DeWall


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American cardiothoracic surgeon.

Biography of Richard A. DeWall

Richard A. DeWall is the inventor of the heart-lung machine. In 1954, when he was a recent graduate of the Medical School and practised medicine in Anoka, Minnesota, he came to C. Walton Lillehei to inquire about a position as a medical researcher. Eventually he was signed up as a resident, and Lillehei presented him with the problem of designing an effective heart-ling machine. A few months later DeWall and Lillehei has assembled a simple blood oxygenator. Following extensive testing on dogs, the machine was first used - successfully - at open-heart surgery in 1955. He is now Emeritus Clinical Professor of Surgery, Wright State University Medical School, Dayton, Ohio.

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An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

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