Path-breaking research in the field of medical science

Medical science has been progressing by leaps and bounds improving the life expectancy and quality of life. In this article, the contribution of three machines in medical diagnosis and treatment has been discussed. It also discusses kidney transplant.

Since the nineteenth century, medical science has been progressing by leaps and bounds. Earlier, those diseases which were thought to be incurable can now be cured very easily. Organs can be transplanted, which was unimaginable even fifty years ago. New research is going on in all the branches of medical science. As a result, not only the life expectancy has increased, but also the quality of live has improved beyond imagination. In this article, we will discuss three machines and transplant of organ, which have revolutionized the scope and reach of medical science.

Endoscope diagnoses liver and intestinal problems

An endoscope is a medical instrument which allows a physician to observe the inside of the body without performing major surgery. It is a long flexible tube with a lens at one end and a video camera at the other. The end with the lens is inserted into the patient through one of the body's natural openings. Light passes down the tube to illuminate the relevant area. The video camera magnifies the area and projects it on a television screen, thus enabling the attending physician to see that area where the problem exists.

An endoscope is an important tool for diagnosing certain illnesses. Specially designed endoscopes can also be used for simple surgical procedures.

Heart-lung machines saving lives

A machine which temporarily takes over the functions of the heart and lungs especially during heart surgery is known as a heart-lung machine. The machine takes over the functions of heart by replacing the heart's pumping action, and by adding oxygen to the blood. This means that the heart will not move during the operation, which is necessary when the heart is required to be opened up to rectify a defect.

The heart-lung machine is connected to the patient by a series of tubes which the surgical team keeps in position. At the end of the operation, the surgeon gradually allows the patient's heart to resume its normal function, and he/she is slowly taken off the heart-lung machine. The heart-lung machine was invented in 1953 by Dr. John Gibbon. Without this invention, it would not be possible to perform heart operations which save millions of lives.

CT scans revolutionize medical diagnosis

A CT (Computed Tomography) scan uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of parts of our body, and the structures inside the body. It was developed independently by two engineers- Sir Godfrey Hounsfield and Dr. Allan Cormack. For their path-breaking work, Hounsfield and Cormack were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in 1979. Robert S. Ledley, who was a physicist, invented the first full-body CT scanner machine. Before the advent of CT scans, doctors had to rely on X-ray images, which show only hard tissues like bones. On the other hand, a CT scan gives images of bones, soft tissues and blood vessels at the same time. CT scanning provides medical information which is different from other imaging examinations.

CT scans are extremely accurate and play important roles in helping doctors to make accurate diagnosis. This is a painless and non-invasive procedure. CT scan assists the radiologists in quickly identifying cardio-vascular diseases, infectious diseases, trauma, and certain types of cancer.

Kidney transplant brings new hope

Dialysis was a very important step in the treatment of kidney diseases. The next logical step in bringing hope to those patients suffering diseases of the kidney was kidney transplant.

A kidney transplant is an operation done to place a healthy kidney from a live or deceased donor, into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly. In 1902, the first kidney transplants were performed on animals in Austria. Seven years later, the first kidney transplant experiments were performed on humans in France using animal kidneys. The first human-to-human kidney transplant was performed in 1933, but it was not successful. Much later, in 1954, Joseph E. Murray and his colleagues at a Boston hospital performed the first successful kidney transplant from one twin to another. Since then, important advances have been made in this field and lives of thousands of people are being saved by successful kidney transplants.

Concluding comments

Concluding the discussion, it can be stated that because of rapid progress, medical science will definitely reach unimaginable heights in near future. But at the same time, the scientists must also make efforts to provide the fruits of modern research to people belonging to all people irrespective of their financial status.

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