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Can You Guess That Grad?

What surgeon has been called the “Father of ECMO” for his part in advancing the life-saving medical procedure?
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Seeking to improve upon 1950s heart-lung machine technology that could only be used for upwards of two hours, ROBERT H. BARTLETT, MD’63, became a leader in the development of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the ensuing decades. ECMO externally circulates a patient’s blood, adding fresh oxygen and removing carbon dioxide, before warming it and returning it to the body; this process allows the lungs and heart to better recover from the prevailing condition. Bartlett performed the first successful neonatal ECMO procedure in 1975 while on the University of California, Irvine’s faculty, and continued his work after joining U-M in 1980. His accolades include the 2002 Medallion for Scientific Achievement from the American Surgical Association and inductions into the National Institutes of Health Great Clinical Teachers Series and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

For a list of other notable U-M grads, visit

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