The 1950s Medicine and Health: Chronology

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The 1950s Medicine and Health: Chronology

1950:      Terramycin, a new antibiotic, is developed.

1950:      A human aorta transplant is performed.

1950:      The hepatitis A virus is isolated and photographed.

1950:      Blood tests for tuberculosis are introduced.

1950:      Stomach cancers are detected using swallowed radioactive pills.

1950:     February 27 Hilary Koprowski develops the first polio vaccine to be tested on human beings.

1950:     April 18 A patient pronounced dead during surgery is revived through heart massage.

1951:      The nausea-inducing drug antabus is marketed as a cure for alcoholism.

1951:      Antibiotics are used to stimulate growth in farm animals.

1951:      The first full-body X-ray machine is developed.

1951:      Leg veins are transplanted to repair faulty arteries.

1951:     September A report suggests that some cancers may be caused by viruses.

1952:      The 190-million-volt deuteron ray combats cancer without breaking the skin.

1952:      The polio rate is at an all-time high, with fifty-five thousand Americans stricken by the deadly disease.

1952:     January 30 A patient suffering a heart attack is revived by electric shock.

1952:     March 8 A mechanical heart keeps a patient alive for eighty minutes.

1952:     April 21 Holes in a heart are repaired surgically.

1952:     September 19 The first artificial heart valve is put into a human being.

1952:     November 13 An artificial pacemaker is used to regulate heart rhythm.

1953:      A 2-million-volt anticancer X-ray machine is developed.

1953:      The first heart-lung machine, which takes over the functions of these vital organs, is used during an operation.

1953:      Skin cancer is produced in mice by painting their skins with cigarette tar.

1953:      A method for long-term blood preservation is developed.

1953:      Psychologists suggest that a sleeping person may learn from a tape recording played within earshot.

1953:     April 11 The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is created.

1953:     October 5–9 A human aorta is repaired using animal tissue.

1953:     November 11 The polio virus is first photographed.

1954:      Full-scale open-heart surgery is introduced.

1954:     February 23 Mass trials of the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk begin.

1955:      A surgical procedure for cerebral palsy victims is developed.

1955:      The first successful kidney transplant is performed.

1955:     April 12 Salk's polio vaccine is declared a success; large-scale vaccinations begin in the United States.

1956:      Research on prison volunteers reveals a cancer-immunity mechanism in human cells.

1956:      Researchers find no benefit in the use of citrus fruit extracts high in Vitamin C as cures for the common cold.

1956:      The kidney dialysis machine is developed.

1956:     October 15 The existence of an orally administered polio vaccine, developed by Albert Sabin, is announced.

1956:     November 25 The American Cancer Society declares that cigarette smoking and lung cancer clearly are linked.

1957:      Synthetic penicillin is developed.

1957:      The painkilling drug Darvon is introduced.

1957:      A one-minute blood test for the sexually transmitted disease syphilis is introduced.

1957:      Synthetic arteries, made of rubberized nylon, are used as surgical replacements.

1958:      Athletes' use of drugs to enhance onfield performance is investigated.

1958:      A drug is developed to counteract the side effects of penicillin.

1958:      The first measles vaccine is tested.

1958:      Ultrasound examination of fetuses is introduced.

1958:     October 29 A blind woman reports seeing flashes of light after photocells are implanted in the sight centers of her brain.

1958:     November 18–20 The first National Conference on Air Pollution is held.

1959:      The pressure test for glaucoma is developed.

1959:      A combined vaccine for whooping cough, diphtheria, and polio is made available.

1959:      A resuscitator small enough to be used on infants is developed.

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The 1950s Medicine and Health: Chronology