23 Facts About Adrian Kantrowitz


Adrian Kantrowitz was an American cardiac surgeon whose team performed the world's second heart transplant attempt at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York on December 6,1967.

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At a press conference afterwards, Kantrowitz emphasized that he considered the operation to have been a failure.

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Adrian Kantrowitz invented the intra-aortic balloon pump, a left ventricular assist device, and an early version of the implantable pacemaker.

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In 1981, Adrian Kantrowitz became a founding member of the World Cultural Council.

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Adrian Kantrowitz was born in New York City on October 4,1918.

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Adrian Kantrowitz's mother was a costume designer and his father ran a clinic in the Bronx, and his grandparents were from Vermont.

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Adrian Kantrowitz told his mother as a three-year-old that he wanted to be a doctor, and as a child built an electrocardiograph from old radio parts, together with his brother Arthur.

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Adrian Kantrowitz graduated from New York University in 1940, having majored in mathematics.

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Adrian Kantrowitz attended the Long Island College of Medicine and was awarded his medical degree in 1943 as part of an effort to accelerate the availability of physicians during World War II.

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Adrian Kantrowitz served for two years as a battalion surgeon in the United States Army Medical Corps and was discharged from the Army in 1946 with the rank of major.

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Adrian Kantrowitz was on the surgical staff of Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx from 1948 until 1955.

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Adrian Kantrowitz started at Montefiore as assistant resident in surgery and pathology, and progressed to cardiovascular research fellow before becoming chief resident in surgery.

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Adrian Kantrowitz developed a device that allowed individuals who were paralyzed to have their bladders empty through a signal sent from a radio-controlled device.

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In February 1958, a heart-lung machine Adrian Kantrowitz had developed was used during open heart surgery on a six-year-old boy while the surgeons repaired a one-inch hole between the chambers of the boy's heart that was present since birth.

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Adrian Kantrowitz noted that the procedure was not ready to be performed on humans.

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In what turned out to be a four-way race between South African cardiac surgeon Dr Christiaan Barnard and Americans Norman Shumway and Richard Lower, Adrian Kantrowitz prepared for a potential human heart transplant by transplanting hearts in 411 dogs over a five-year period together with members of his surgical team.

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On June 29,1966, by which time Adrian Kantrowitz had completed the necessary technical research, one of his patients was an 18-day-old infant who very much needed a new heart.

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On December 6,1967, at Maimonides Medical Center, Adrian Kantrowitz's team, including Bjørnstad PG, Lindberg HL, Smevik B, Rian R, Sørland SJ, Tjønneland S, performed the world's first pediatric heart transplant attempt as well as the first human-to-human heart transplant in the United States.

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Adrian Kantrowitz was relying on hypothermia alone for Scudero which meant the entire operation needed to be completed in less than an hour.

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At a press conference, Adrian Kantrowitz emphasized that he did not view the operation as a success.

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At Sinai Hospital, Adrian Kantrowitz experimented further with heart transplants and continued development of the balloon pump, and partial mechanical hearts.

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Adrian Kantrowitz's wife was an administrator on the surgical research laboratories at Maimonides Medical Center while he was there.

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Adrian Kantrowitz died at age 90 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on November 14,2008, of heart failure.

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