Viking Björk

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Viking Olov Björk (3 December 1918, Sunnansjö, Dalarna – 18 February 2009) was a Swedish cardiac surgeon.

In 1968, he collaborated with American engineer Donald Shiley to develop the Björk–Shiley valve, a mechanical prosthetic heart valve. It was the first "tilting disc valve", used to replace the aortic or mitral valve. Many modifications followed, including the convexo-concave valve. The convexo-concave valve had defects in form of strut fractures. Therefore the monostrut valve was introduced to prevent outflow strut fractures.[1]

The Bjork–Shiley valve was manufactured by Pfizer after they bought the Shiley company in 1979. In 1980 Björk wrote to Pfizer threatening to publish cases of valve failures — often fatal to the patients — unless corrective action was taken. This eventually led to long lawsuit that involved the recall of all existing valves and Pfizer allocating up to US$20 million to pay compensation.[citation needed]

Björk wrote his dissertation in 1948, titled "Brain perfusion in dogs with artificially oxygenated blood".[2]

Björk died on 18 February 2009 in Stockholm.[3][4]


  1. ^ H, Ahn; Kim KH; Kim DJ; Jeong DS (22 December 2007). "Long-term experience with the Bjork–Shiley Monostrut tilting disc valve". J. Korean Med. Sci. 22 (6): 1060–4. doi:10.3346/jkms.2007.22.6.1060. PMC 2694640. PMID 18162723.
  2. ^ Björk, Viking Olov(1948). Brain perfusion in dogs with artificially oxygenated blood. Libris 1389404 (http://libris.kb.sebib/1389404)
  3. ^ Obituary in Svenska Dagbladet, 22 February 2009
  4. ^ "Viking Olov Björk – 1918 - 2009". Archived from the original on 8 July 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2010.