The Roller Pump

During dr. john gibbon's work on the heart-lung machine, he turned to a pump developed by Dr. Michael DeBakey while DeBakey was still a medical student at Tulane University in New Orleans.

In those early days, DeBakey worked as a technician in the medical lab and remembered his first exposure to blood pumps:

"I didn't get paid very much, but I liked the work. The faculty member I was working with wanted a pump in the laboratory because he was interested in the pulse wave so he asked me to get a pump for him. I went to the library to learn something about pumps, and I didn't find a great deal in the med

ical school library. A friend of mine who was a college mate and went into engineering said, 'You know, you ought to go to the Engineering School library. They have a lot of articles on hydraulics.'

"I went to the Engineering School and found a wonderful bibliographic record of pumps going back to Archimedes, two thousand years ago. There was an article about rubber tubing, which came into being in the middle of the last century, being used to pump fluid by compressing it That's what gave ' me the idea for my roller pump, which John Gibbon adapted, and that's how I contributed to the development of the heart-lung machine."

These failures upset Gibbon, who declared a one-year moratorium on use of the machine in humans until more work could be done to solve the problems.

Meanwhile, other groups were working to develop a heart-lung machine. They included those led by Crafoord at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden; Drs. S.S. Brukhonenko and N.N. Terebinsky in Moscow, Russia; Dr. J. Jongbloed at the University of Utrecht in Holland; Dr. Clarence Dennis at the University of Minnesota; Dr. Mario Dogliotti at the University of Turino in Italy; and Dr. Forrest Dodrill in Detroit, Michigan.

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