The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Medical Innovation Past and Present
Sir Alexander Fleming, a Scottish researcher, is credited with the discovery of penicillin in 1928. He was experimenting with the influenza virus in the laboratory of the Inoculation Department at St. Mary’s Hospital in London.
Fleming returned from a two-week vacation to find mold growing on an accidentally contaminated staphylococcus culture plate. Upon examination, Fleming noticed that the mold culture prevented the growth of staphylococci bacteria.
Penicillin made a difference during the first half of the 20th century. The first patient was successfully treated for streptococcal septicemia in the United States in 1942, putting any misgivings about the treatment to rest after more than a decade of development. With the onset of World War II, supply was limited and demand was high for penicillin.
The ability to transplant organs is one of the greatest medical innovations. Though it affords people a new lease on life, it wasn’t immediately accepted by traditional society. Job van Meekeren, a Dutch physician, recorded the first documented successful bone transplant, using bone from a dog’s skull to fix a defect in a Russian soldier’s skull. The Russian Orthodox Church condemned the transplant as unnatural. It wasn’t until 1990 that the Roman Catholic Church openly supported organ transplant as, according to then-Pope John Paul II, the ultimate expression of love and charity towards humanity.
Some day, organs and other tissue grown from our own stem cells may be in wide use. But in the meantime, whether or not to become a donor remains one of the most important choices we will ever make as individuals.
Twenty-four million U.S. adults have evidence of impaired lung function, indicating a probable COPD diagnosis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 12.7 million U.S. adults were estimated to have COPD in 2011. These numbers have only grown.
Once thought of as being a “man’s disease,” the prevalence of COPD among women has grown significantly. In 2011, women surpassed men for the tenth consecutive year in having a higher rate of chronic bronchitis diagnosis. The numbers speak for themselves with 3.3 million U.S. men diagnosed compared to 6.8 million women.
About Lung Institute
At Lung Institute, we are changing the lives of hundreds of people across the nation through the innovative technology of regenerative medicine. We are committed to providing patients a more effective way to address pulmonary conditions and improve quality of life. Our physicians have gained worldwide recognition for the successful application of revolutionary, minimally invasive cell therapies. With over a century of combined medical experience, our doctors have established a patient experience designed with the highest concern for patient safety, comfort, and quality of care.