|First Test-Tube Baby
"I'm proud of being the first test-tube baby," says Louise. "But I
don't know if I could go through what Mum did. I hate hospitals." Louise
Brown, the first test-tube baby, now works as a nursery nurse in Bristol,
England. Her sister Natalie was also born thanks to the revolutionary
test-tube (IVF) technique. In 1999 Natalie gave birth to a daughter,
becoming one of the first IVF babies to conceive naturally. "This is the
final proof that IVF is successful," said Professor Robert Edwards, one of
the pioneers of IVF treatment.
Most Hand Amputations On Same Arm
"It felt amazing to put two arms round the ones I love," said New
Zealand's Clint Hallam after his 1998 hand transplant at Lyons, France. At
the time, the operation was hailed as a great success. Soon after the
operation Hallam stopped taking the drugs he'd been prescribed. These drugs
were intended to stop the body "rejecting" the new limb, but Hallam said
their side effects were unbearable. He finally had the limb amputated in
February 2001 at a hospital in London, UK.
Longest Time survived without a Pulse
The longest time a human has survived without a pulse is three days.
Julie Mills [UK] was at the point of death on Aug 14 1998 due to a severe
heart attack failure, when cardiac surgeons at the John Radcliffe Hospital,
Oxford, Oxon., UK, used a special blood pump to support her for one week,
during which time her heart fully recovered and the pump was removed. This
was the first time that a patient survived this procedure.
|Largest Tumor Removed Intact
The largest tumor ever removed intact was a multicystic mass of the
right ovary weighing 137.6 kg (303 lb). The operation, which took over six
hours, was performed by Professor Katherine O'Hanlan of Stanford University
Medical Center, California, USA. The growth had a diameter of 1 m (3 ft) and
was removed in its entirety in October 1991 from the abdomen of an unnamed
34-year-old woman. The patient – who weighed 95 kg (210 lb) after the
operation and has made a full recovery – left the operating theater on one
stretcher and the cyst left on another.
Longest Artificial Heart Transplant Survival
William J. Schroeder made medical history when he came back from the
dead with the help of an artificial heart. He survived for a record 620 days
at Louisville, Kentucky, USA – from November 25, 1984, to August 7, 1986.
The patient made such an amazing initial recovery that 18 days after the
operation he was well enough to talk with Ronald Reagan. He told the former
president he was waiting on his Social Security check!
Youngest Person to Receive a Pacemaker.
Stephanie Gardiner [UK] was just four hours old when she was implanted
with a tiny pacemaker, which was the size of a stamp, on March 11 1995.
First Successful Artificial Eye
On January 17, 2000, it was announced that a patient known as
"Jerry", blind after a blow to his head 36 years previous, had regained his
ability see thanks to an artificial eye developed over the past 30 years by
American eye specialist, William Dobelle. Jerry "sees" by wearing spectacles
attached to a miniature camera and an ultrasonic rangefinder. They feed
signals to a computer worn on the waistband, which processes the video and
distance data, which is then sent by another computer to 68 platinum
electrodes implanted in Jerry's brain, on the surface of the visual cortex.
He sees a simple display of dots that outline an object. Jerry's vision is
the same as a severely shortsighted person - equivalent to 20/400. He is
able to read two-inch letters at five feet.
|Most Fetuses In A Human Body
On July 22, 1971, Dr Gennaro Montanino of Rome, Italy, announced he
had removed the fetuses of ten girls and five boys from the womb of a
35-year-old housewife. A fertility drug was responsible for this occurrence.
Dr Gennaro Montanino operated on the Rome housewife, whose identity was
withheld to protect her, while she was in her fourth month of pregnancy. The
unborn children were five inches long and five ounces in weight. The woman
and her salesman husband already had an eight-year-old daughter born after
similar hormone treatment and had asked doctors for another fertility
treatment to have another child.
Youngest Heart Transplant Patient
Baby Cheyenne was born with a fatal condition called hypoplastic left
heart syndrome, which stops the heart from pumping blood to the body. She
was given a donor heart the size of a ping-pong ball, flown in by Lear jet
to the Jackson Children's Hospital, Miami, Florida. She was given an 80%
chance of full recovery, but her condition deteriorated and nine weeks later
she died, never having left the hospital's newborn intensive care unit.
Longest Working Pacemaker
The longest working pacemaker is a lithium-battery-powered Biotec 777
which was implanted in Janos Szilagyi [Hungary] on Jan 18 1979 and was last
confirmed on April 7 200 to be operating as normal.
Oldest Surgical Procedure
Trepanation, the removal of the bone from the cranial vault, is
mankind’s oldest surgical procedure. The oldest unequivocal evidence of this
procedure was found at a 7,000-year-old burial site at Ensisheim, France,
and belonged to a 50-year-old man. Trepanation was apparentely used to
either relieve pressure on the brain, a practice that is still an accepted
medical procedure, or to release evil spirits. Some African communities,
including the Kisii of Westren Kenya, continue this practice to this day. A
section of skull may be extracted with flint or metal blades by drilling a
series of small holes or scraping through the bone. Some people believe
trepanation can help attain "higher consciousness".
|Most Operations Endured
From July 22, 1954 to the end of 1994, Charles Jensen of Chester,
South Dakota, USA, had 970 operations to remove facial tumors associated
with basal cell naevus syndrome, a genetic disorder. The tumors are known to
turn malignant and are usually surgically removed soon after appearing. The
majority of Jensen's 970 operations were performed by Hymie Gordon,
Professor of Medical Genetics, at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota,
where Jensen became a well-known visitor who impressed staff with his cheery
disposition and willingness to volunteer for training exercises with medical
Oldest Person To Have A Pacemaker Fitted
David Henderson of Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire, Scotland, was 107
when he had a pacemaker fitted in 1997. Henderson, a farmer, died in 1998 at
the age of 109. He said his secret to longlife was a daily bowl of porridge,
never going to bed on a full stomach and a daily dose of cattle salt mixed
into a shot of gin!
Largest Brain Tumor
A tumor weighing a record-breaking 1 lb 5 oz was successfully
removed from the brain of four-year old Kaushal Choudhary [India] at Curwell
Hospital, India on May 25 2000.
Largest Object Removed From Human Skull
The largest object removed from a human skull is a 20.32-cm (8-inch)
survival knife, which was plunged into the head of 41-year-old Michael Hill
on April 25, 1998. Michael survived the ordeal and the next day astonished
doctors by functioning normally, although it was soon clear the knife had
caused permanent damage to his memory and paralyzed his left hand. Looking
back on the nightmare, the father-of-one says, "I didn't feel the pain
initially and it was only when I was at the hospital that it hit me and I
felt like my eyes were bulging out. I know people in worse shape than me now
and so I consider myself lucky."