Sunday, October 7, 2007
Dogs, Haitians, and Heart Valves
In 1960 in the United States, prosthetic heart valves were being placed in dogs in the mitral position. The dogs woke from surgery, recovered, and barked and ran around. They felt much better with their new heart valve.
The first prosthetic valve was placed in a human being the same year by Dr. Albert Starr.
Heart valve replacement is commonplace in the resource-rich world in 2007.
However, Haitians and most of the people in the resource-poor world, don't get new heart valves when their native valves fail. Technology that has been available in the United States for almost 50 years is still not available in Haiti.