Human history has been forever altered and defined by medical achievements and breakthroughs. This list celebrates recent breakthroughs that few may know about.
10. Surviving Without a Heart
With heart transplants there is always the risk of rejection, but what happens when that happens and there is no back up heart on hand? This is exactly what happened to D’Zhana Simmons from South Carolina in 2008. Doctors used two pumps to continue pumping D’Zhana’s blood during her recovery and the four month search for a new heart. She was able to live without a heart for 118 days.
9. Waking People from Comas
A surprising treatment for coma patients was discovered by accident by a doctor in 1999. When a coma patient was observed twitching, the doctor was concerned for the patient’s comfort and prescribed a common sleeping pill. To their amazement the patient made a noise! The effect does wear off but it allows patients to interact with their loved ones.
8. Automatic Genetic Analysis
Scientist have developed a stick-like device that works similar to a USB drive. These stick are small, approximately the width of a matchstick, and is inserted into a computer to automatically transfer the genetic information. This technology is already making breakthroughs in cancer research and promise more breakthroughs in disease analysis.
7. Intrepid Robot Surgeons
For those who are concerned that robots are taking over listen to the benefits of a robot over a surgeon. First, robots have the advantage of being able to be designed smaller than the arm or hand of a surgeon. This would make it easier for a robot to reach places in the body with less damage. Second, a robot eliminates the possibility of human error through many tiny sensors which makes it more accurate and precise than a human surgeon.
6. Restoring Sight to the Blind
Scientists are working on machine implants to “cure” blindness. While the technology is still being developed, the machine has helped completely blind individuals be able to determine color and describe objects. This implanted digital camera sends signals through nerve cells to the brain and is developed through the help of stem cells.