Since October is a Celebration of Many Health-Related Causes, Let's Think A Moment About This: The Development of Noninvasive Heart Care - Part II

For those of you who read the previous blog, you get the idea behind today's offering. Namely, that October is celebration/awareness month of a host of health-related causes, among them: children's health, dyslexia awareness, healthy lung, lupus awareness, national breast cancer awareness, and national spina bifida.

This struck me as a good time to step back and reflect on how, only 50 or so years ago, a group of pioneers were able to bring us what is known today as noninvasive heart care. The story is detailed in an article entitled, "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Dean Franklin and His Remarkable Contributions to Physiological Measurements in Animals," published last year by the American Physiological Society. Dean Franklin's work with ultrasound, the Doppler flow meter and the sonomicrometer helped establish the field of medicine that is now known as noninvasive clinical echocardiography. His accomplishments could not have been realized without collaborating with Robert Rushmer and Robert Van Citters and a broad supporting cast of engineers, physiologists, fellows, technicians and animals. The collaborations that began 51 years ago paved the way for the countless number of healthy hearts that beat today.

For those of you who, like me, would rather watch something before reading about it, log on to the videos below. Though short and not the best quality, they help tell the story of Dean Franklin et al. Or see the links in the prior post to view the pictures. Let me know what you think.

Video 1: "Ole Number Seven."  Exercise studies with an instrumented greyhound and boxer.

Video 2: Exercise studies in the California desert. Instrumented dogs were encouraged to run behind Dean Franklin's personal VW bus by a member of the laboratory sitting in the back hatch.

Video 3: Baboon telemetry backpack used in the Kenya expedition in 1965. This backpack was designed and built for this expedition by Nolan Watson of the University of Washington. On the left is Robert Van Citters; on the right, Dean Franklin.

Video 4: An instrumented baboon blending in with other members of the herd. Notice the red/white backpack on the instrumented animal. Animals were subsequently recaptured by remotely activating a subcutaneous anesthesia capsule containing phencyclidine (PCP).

Video 5: Example of the process for capturing a giraffe. In the first part of the video, a previously instrumented giraffe is being recaptured to recover the instrumentation. The carotid artery was resutured and the skin closed, and the animals were released back into their environment. The second portion of the video depicts another giraffe recovering from instrumentation surgery and being released.

Video 6: Instrumented Alaskan sled dogs at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Although all the dogs had been surgically instrumented during a previous trip to Alaska, only one was connected to the transmitting equipment in the sled for study at a time. The wrapping containing the external equipment can be seen on one of the dogs nearest the sled.

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