Forest Dewey Dodrill

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Forest Dewey Dodrill
Born (1902-01-26)January 26, 1902
Webster Springs, West Virginia
Died June 28, 1997(1997-06-28) (aged 95)
Baltimore, MD
Nationality United States
Alma mater Harvard Medical School
University of Michigan
Known for Open heart surgery
Scientific career
Fields surgery
Institutions Harper University Hospital, Wayne State University

Forest Dewey Dodrill (January 26, 1902 – June 28, 1997) born in Webster Springs, West Virginia was a doctor at Harper University Hospital at Wayne State University in Michigan who performed the first successful open heart surgery using a mechanical pump.[1]

After receiving a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University in 1925, he attended Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1930. Dodrill was an intern and resident at Harper Hospital in Detroit where he became a staff surgeon. He did a thoracic surgical residency at the University of Michigan in the early 1940s, receiving a M.Ch. degree from in 1942.[2]

On July 3, 1952 Dodrill completed the first successful open heart surgery on the left ventricle of Henry Opitek. He used a machine developed by himself and researchers at General Motors, the Dodrill-GMR, considered to be the first operational mechanical heart used while performing open heart surgery.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ Stephenson, Larry W; Arbulu Agustin; Bassett Joseph S; Silbergleit Allen; Hughes Calvin H (2002). "Forest Dewey Dodrill: heart surgery pioneer. Michigan Heart, Part II". Journal of Cardiac Surgery. 17 (3): 247–57; discussion 258–9. doi:10.1111/j.1540-8191.2002.tb01210.x. PMID 12489912. 
  2. ^ Stephenson, Larry. "The Michigan Heart" (PDF). Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  3. ^ American Heart Association. The Mechanical Heart celebrates 50 lifesaving years. 22 10 2002. 9 Feb 2008[dead link]
  4. ^ Wayne State University | School of Medicine Archived June 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Stephenson, Larry W; Arbulu Agustin; Bassett Joseph S; Silbergleit Allen; Hughes Calvin H (2002). "The Michigan Heart: the world's first successful open heart operation? Part I". Journal of Cardiac Surgery. 17 (3): 238–46; discussion 258–9. doi:10.1111/j.1540-8191.2002.tb01209.x. PMID 12489911.