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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 students.

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."





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