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Best Medical Inventions of the 1930s

Updated on April 27, 2017

Inventions in The Medical Field

Blood banks were introduced in he 1930s and were an instant success throughout the entire world.
Blood banks were introduced in he 1930s and were an instant success throughout the entire world. | Source
The vaccine for yellow fever was an amazing breakthrough in the medical field.
The vaccine for yellow fever was an amazing breakthrough in the medical field. | Source
The Debakey Pump is a very complex gadget that has advanced in the medical field over the years.
The Debakey Pump is a very complex gadget that has advanced in the medical field over the years. | Source

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Debakey Pump For Heart Surgery

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Top 10 Medical Advancements of the 30s

1. Yellow Fever Vaccine (1935): Yellow fever vaccine is also know as 17D. The vaccine is considered to be "safe", as it has been administered to millions over the years with only a few people having adverse reactions. The vaccine that is given is actually a live vaccine. This would contain a strand of the the yellow fever virus. The importance of this vaccine can never be overstated as it was a spreading disease that was fully cured, wow! At this day and time we can not imagine being afraid of yellow fever but, in the 30s, this was a real problem to deal with.

2. Blood Transfusion (1930): A blood transfusion must be done when a patient loses a lot of blood whether bleeding internally, or loss of blood from child birth, trauma or from a car accident. It is vitally important they find out your blood type. This is done at the lab. In the situation of an accident where life and death hangs in the balance, a lot of pressure is put on the lab to find out the information that is needed and it needs to be found out as quickly as possible. It is not fair but, a lot of pressure is put on the lab to get the exact blood type of the donor and the blood type of the recipient of the transfusion. This is very precise work for these trained professionals. My dad worked in the lab all of my life. He recently retired and he can tell you many stories of impatient doctors, orders that were never turned in, etc...you name it, I bet it has happened to my dad. I am glad that he does not have to work any longer. He would talk about having to a match someone's blood type in the blood bank. This is a very important job to have.

3. Typhus Vaccine (1937): Typhus is caused by bacteria and is not the same as typhoid fever because the bacteria comes from different species. Sometimes the state of mind of people affected by typhus is described as being hazy. People with poor living conditions, such as many soldiers during the war died from the terrible bacteria. They could not help their living conditions and no one really knew of the long term consequences. Living conditions for soldiers are usually very poor because of the nature of war. No conditions during war are ideal or it wouldn't be called war.

4. First Blood Bank (1937): A blood bank is the place where the blood that is donated through various agencies that are set up to give blood. The blood from these are stored in hospital labs. When someone needs a transfusion, the blood has to be typed and matched and then can be transfused to the patient. The blood bank keeps the hospital supplied with blood when it is needed. There always seems to be a shortage of blood at the hospitals. It is important to give blood whenever you are able to. Places that you can give blood are with The Red Cross and our local blood banks.

5. Opaque Dye Injections in the Heart (1932): Opaque dye allows for the organs to glow for anything abnormal. Depending on what the doctor is looking for, the whole body can be scanned at one time and usually this is what is ordered especially if the diagnosis of cancer is a possibility. The dye is an important part of this particular test in that, it is the diagnosing part of the test. Without the use of dye, we would still be looking at plain film X-rays and MRI films. All of these have come such a long way over time. Now with the digital age, each test is resulted faster than several year ago. Not only has everything gotten faster but, the images have gotten more clear and crisp with the creation of digital imaging. We have to be careful to ask the patient before the test is done if they are allergic to contrast dye.

6. Phenobarbital (1931): This is the most commonly used barbiturate in the world. It can be used as a sedative or as a hypnotic drug. It's primary use is to treat all types of seizures and to prevent them as well. This is a scheduled class IV drug and will have to be carefully monitored by the pharmacy as well as the patient's physician to ensure that the patient doesn't take more than they are supposed to. If a doctor is really strict about what can be done, if anything. As a physician or a physician assistant you can request that a patient come to the office for a pill count. Then it would be up to the individual office as to what the consequences would be for the crime.

7. Debakey Pump Invention (1934): This is an innovation that was added to the heart and lung machine and it helped make open heart surgery possible. Michael Debakey invented this machine while still in medical school and originally he called it the roller pump. As the saying goes: The quicker you can get in and get diagnosed and treated by a doctor the more effective the treatment will be. This was true in the case of my dad. He was having a treadmill (stress test). He was sent from the cardiologist office to the hospital. He had 5 bypasses. Thankfully, he is still alive today.

8. Discovery of a citrate glucose used for preserving blood for three weeks (1938): This medical discovery was important because it led to another discovery of being able to store the blood for three weeks with the molecular structure of the citrate glucose. This discovery is so important because there are times such as during a war, that the ability to be able to preserve gallons of bags of blood for up to 21 days, can end up saving a life.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

First Blood Bank Donations

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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