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The Reinvention of the American Heart Association and the Invention of Cardiac Catheterization 

The Reinvention of the American Heart Association and the Invention of Cardiac Catheterization
Chapter:
The Reinvention of the American Heart Association and the Invention of Cardiac Catheterization
Author(s):

W. Bruce Fye

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199982356.003.0008
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date: 06 May 2021

President Harry Truman signed the National Heart Act in 1948, which resulted in the creation of the National Heart Institute and started federal funds flowing to academic centers to support cardiovascular research. Mayo cardiologist Arlie Barnes’s term as president of the American Heart Association coincided with its transformation from a low-budget professional society into a large voluntary health organization that raised funds from the public to support its programs. World War II research into shock contributed to the development of cardiac catheterization as a clinical diagnostic tool. Mayo’s wartime research program that focused on ways to protect fighter pilots from blackouts due to high gravitational forces led to the invention of technologies to measure blood pressure and blood oxygen content. Physiologist Earl Wood used these tools in Mayo’s cardiac catheterization laboratory, which was established at the institution in 1947. The clinic helped pioneer the emerging field of cardiac catheterization.

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