Cardiac Trauma


Pericardiocentesis first described

First successful pericardiocentesis for trauma
Cardiac tamponade secondary to penetrating cardiac wound

Theodore Bilroth
' The Surgeon who should attempt to suture a wound of the heart would lose the respect of his colleagues.'

Ludwig Rehn
First successful human cardiac repair
Fencing injury - 1.5cm stab wound to right ventricle.
Frankfurt, Germany

James Paget
'Surgery of the heart has probably reached the limits set by nature to all surgery: no new method and no discovery can overcome the natural difficulties that attend a wound of the heart.'
Paget S. The Surgery of the Chest. London: Wright, 1896:121

Kristian Igelsrud
First resuscitation post injury using open cardiac massage

L.L. Hill
First cardiorrhaphy in the US performed.
13 year old boy stabbed in the left 5th intercostal space.
Operated on a kitchen table, Montgomery, Alabama.

Hill LL. 'A report of a case of successful suturing of the heart, and a table of 37 other cases of suturing by different operations at various terminations, and the conclusions drawn. Med Rec 846, Nov 29, 1902.

Djanelidze published a monograph of his detailed review of 535 cases of cardiac injuries 'Cardiac Injuries and Their Surgical Treatment'.

'It should also be mentioned that the time chosen for reviewing the material was immensely difficult. With the beginning of the war, our ties with the West deteriorated. From 1918 to 1920, we were completely isolated from Western science. After 1921, the normal delivery of the world's medical journals was restored, but the communications with our colleagues abroad remained difficult. It either took a long time to receive a journal, an article or a book, or it was impossible. Personal inquiries to many surgeons abroad were also troublesome. Despite the numerous letters sent by me, only Professor Sauerbruch informed me kindly about a case of heart injury operated by him. However, the most unpleasant circumstance was the fact that our medical journals ceased to exist and we did not know what was done in our own country. Because of the difficulties mentioned above, I would not dare to state that I gave an account of all cases of surgical treatment that occurred from 1896 to 1921.'

Djanelidze YY. Cardiac injuries and their surgical treatment [in Russian]. Leningrad: Leningrad Medical Journal Co., 1927.
Djanelidze YY. Kamenchik MG. One thousand cases of surgical treatment of heart injuries [in Russian]. Novii Khir Arkhiv 1941;49:100–20.

Christian Barnard
First Heart Transplant

Matthew Wall
First reported successiful resuscitative prehospital thoracotomy
Houston, Texas, USA

Sean Keogh
First successful prehospital resuscitative thoracotomy for cardiac stab wound, performed by Sean Keogh, Royal Lonodn Hospital Helicopter Emergency Medical Service.
London, UK