Infographic: A look at the History of Healthcare Innovation


Louisville, KY isn’t just all about horses and bourbon. The Louisville area is host to 15 hospital; six of them receiving a Healthgrade Quality award for excellence in everything from women’s health to joint replacement to outstanding patient experience. Louisville is credited with having the first official emergency room in 1911 and later was proud to be the site of the first successful hand transplant in 1999. It’s time to recognize Louisville’s healthcare industry and what it means for medical advancements worldwide.

In one of the most historic surgeries of all time, doctors at Jewish Hospital, lead by Dr. Warren C Breidenbach, perform the first successful hand transplant. Having lost his hand in a fireworks accident 19 years earlier, patient Matthew David Scott underwent a 15 hour operation that attached a hand from a donor two inches above his wrist. Since then there have been eight more hand transplants on seven patients; one being a double hand transplant in 2010. Patient Matthew David Scott expressed after his surgery, “I’m taking on things I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do again.”

Louisville is also home to the first self-contained artificial heart. Lead by Dr. William DeVires in July 2001 at Jewish Hospital, the first AbioCor Heart was successfully implanted. Every year, 105,000 hearts are needed for cardiac patients, and the success of this procedure was a huge leap forward to making the artificial heart more accessible. Unlike previous artificial hearts that were connected to a large battery console and often left patients bedridden for life, the AbioCor Heart is self-contained, runs on an external, rechargeable battery pack, and is said to double initial life expectancy of patients.

Thanks to Fortune 500 and Louisville-native healthcare giants Kindred and Humana, Louisville has grown into a medical care powerhouse and a city to be reckoned with. Take a look at this infographic from Lockton for more on what Louisville has done for the medical community and how it has shaped surgical and medical practices all over the world.

rob warrington

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