How Did You Die?

A Glance at the Sometimes Gruesome Roots of CPR "How did you die?" In this 1950 educational film by The Beck Heart Foundation, a burly host was asking this simple question to a panel of eleven men and women. This was before CPR became a household term , before "Resuscitation Annie" was invented, and before Automatic External... Continue Reading →

Hair Salons and the First Pacemaker

In 2012  I was completing a continuing medical education course and came across the story of the first implantable pacemaker. It happened in 1958 at the Karolinska hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. This was at the tail end of a decade that is considered the golden age of cardiothoracic surgery when pioneer after pioneer introduced new... Continue Reading →

What Happens When a Genius Pees in the Snow?

Rune Elmquist is not a household name. He was one of many Swedish inventors who had gifted the world with such wondrous creations like the zipper (Gideon Sundback, 1917), the three-point seatbelt (Nils Bohlin, 1959), the carton tetra-pak (Erik Wallenberg and Ruben Rausing, 1946), and even the adjustable monkey wrench (Johann Petter Johansson, 1891). Sweden’s... Continue Reading →

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