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The Westminster Profound Hypothermia Unit, for heart surgery, England, 1959-1961

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Charles E Drew (1916-1987) at the Westminster Hospital London devised this ‘Profound Hypothermia Apparatus’ to carry out heart surgery. The body temperature was lowered to 15º C to induce hypothermia and stop the heart beating long enough to carry out surgery. When cooled, blood becomes the texture of ice cream so Drew called upon ice-cream specialists APV Company to help devise his machine. Although never a commercial success, Drew was so taken with his machine that he used it for the remainder of his 22-year career.

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Glossary: blood (animal material)

Fluid that circulates in the principal vascular system of vertebrate animals. W.

Glossary: heating systems

Assemblies of interrelated equipment designed to provide heat to buildings and other structures.

Glossary: refrigeration

No description.

Glossary: heat exchangers

Devices that transfer heat between two physically separated fluids; generally consists of a cylindrical shell with longitudinal tubes; one fluid flows inside, the other outside. DAC.

Glossary: profound hypothermia unit

An instrument used during heart surgery to induce hypothermia and slow down the beating of the heart

Glossary: hypothermia

A condition where the core body temperature drops below the level necessary to perform basic functions. In humans this is 35°C. Hypothermia is often caused by over exposure to cold conditions.