Definition of Kirklin, John W.
Kirklin, John W.: American cardiovascular surgeon (1920-2004) who improved and applied the heart-lung machine to open heart surgery. Dr. Kirklin refined the Gibbon heart-lung machine (an apparatus developed by John H. Gibbon) to circulate blood while the heart was stopped during surgery. In the 1950's, Dr. Kirklin did heart operations with the improved machine. Dr. Kirklin also used heart-lung technology to study congenital heart problems and published the textbook "Cardiac Surgery," a standard reference in the field.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
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