History of Women in Perfusion – Ann Guercio CCP,LP, MBA
Review historical milestones in perfusion and the women involved with them.
Overview women’s roles in and contributions to perfusion.
Overview of current statistics of women in perfusion.
Discuss opportunities and strategies for professional growth and satisfaction for women in perfusion.
Where We’ve Been
Nursing as a profession took hold during the American Civil War in the 1860’s
1890 – 1920 saw a progressive period where women took action for their rights.
Women become groundbreaking scientists
Marie Curie, physics and chemistry, discovers radioactivity, invents first mobile x-ray machine. First person to win the Nobel prize twice.
Rosalind Franklin, chemistry, discovers the double helix structure of DNA.
Katherine Johnson, mathematician, orbital mechanics calculations for NASA helped put men into space.
Women continue to move into the manufacturing workforce during the first and second world wars.
The Birth of Cardiac surgery & the Heart-lung machine: John Gibbon
His assistant, Mary Hopkinson, was to become one of the most important partners in research – and in real life.
After their March 1931 wedding, they began their experiments, first using cats lured off the street with fish.
They occluded the pulmonary arteries and pumped the blood through a mechanical lung.
On May 10, 1935 the first cat survived. It had been without its own heart function and kept alive by extracorporeal circulation, Mary and John danced about the lab, elated.
1935, Gibbon’s First Heart-Lung Apparatus Survivor:
39 Minutes Extracorporeal Heart and Lung Bypass.
The Feline went on to birth a litter of kittens.
Recorded History: Mary “Maly” Gibbon May 6, 1953
The First Successful Use of the Heart-Lung Machine.
Undisputed First Lady of Perfusion.
The First Perfusionist.
Early Open Heart Surgery Heart-Lung Machine Outcomes:
C. Dennis 1952 2 / 2 Died
J. Gibbon 1953 5 / 6 Died
J. Helmsworth 1953 1 / 1 Died
D. Dodrill 1952 2 / 2 Died
G. Clowes 1953 2 / 2 Died
W. Mustard 1953-54 5 / 5 Died
Results: 17 / 18 Mortality 94.5%
Women take the lead
Mary Lois Martin 1927-2010 Methodist Hospital / Texas Heart Institute Houston, Texas
Perfusionist for Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey 1957-1969.
Chief Perfusionist until 1981 when she retired.
1957, Cooley “Coffee Pot” Bubble Oxygenator
Commercially Produced by: Mark Company Randolph Massachusetts
South America University Hospital Caracas, Venezuela
Maria Cristina Paris, Perfusionist and Denton Cooley, M.D.
September 12, 1957 ASD Closure. The first Open-Heart Operation with extracorporeal circulation, 14 year old girl.
Dene Friedmann, Perfusionist Cape Town, South Africa
December 2, 1967 phone call around 10:00 p.m.
Heart Transplant Groote Schuur Hospital
A Worldwide Frenzy Ensued
The first Polish Heart Machine with Heat Exchanger for performing open heart operations under
Dr. Wanda Jarosik (maiden name Dziatkowiak) a Perfusionist running the heart-lung machine for open heart operations at the Dept. of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery of the Institute of Cardiology, Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum, 1980.
Texas Heart Institute (THI) First Perfusion Class June,1972
Diane Clark, first graduating perfusion class at THI.
She was one of the first Board Directors of the newly formed American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion in 1975.
Co-authored the first edition of Cardiopulmonary Bypass, a perfusion technology textbook.
My Woman in Perfusion Story
Class size 10 students
6 males, 4 females
1 single mom
Assistant program director female.
Staff instructors included 5 females.
Years of Perfusion Experience by Gender
1-5 years experience 7.5% (227) female, 6-10 years experience 6.4% (194) female, 11-15 years experience 5.9% (178) female, 16-20 years experience 4.5% (135) female, 21-25 years experience 5.1% (156) female, greater than 25 years experience 6.3% (192) female
What we can learn from each other
Many wonderful women have come before you
Meet them and pick their brains
Many wonderful women are among you
Network and share experiences
You are among the many wonderful women in perfusion!
Where are we going?
Women continue to hold leadership roles in Perfusion.
4 of the current 9 Directors of the ABCP are women.
The current President of AmSect is a woman.
The current President of the AC-PE is a woman.
I’m pretty sure you can name a woman you know personally that is in a leadership role in perfusion.
Women are natural multi-taskers and organizers.
Our skill set compliments our profession.
Women will continue to face work life balance concerns.
Respect yourself and your team.
Women are creative thinkers that can drive change.
Be open-minded and realistic.
Lead by example.
Women in Perfusion: We’ve always been there!
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