Last week the hospital marked a significant milestone – the 175th anniversary of the first public demonstration of ether in surgery, considered one of most game-changing events in medical history. In the spirit of that Oct. 16, 1846 landmark, the MGH, fittingly, shares the story of Courtney Joyce, who was the first patient at the hospital to benefit from inhaled nitric oxide (NO) as a therapy for cystic fibrosis. The medical use of NO represents yet another MGH innovation in anesthesia and critical care. In 1990, a research team led by Warren M. Zapol, MD, now emeritus anesthetist-in-chief, pioneered the use of inhaled NO as a life-saving treatment for newborns with hypoxic respiratory failure – a breakthrough that not only opened up a vital therapeutic avenue, but also has saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
On Sept. 1, 1821, the first patient came through the doors of Massachusetts General Hospital, inaugurating a tradition of excellence in care that is now more than 200 years old. That very first patient, however, was only one in a long line of trailblazers who have put their trust in this hospital in times of need and played leading roles in advancing care for all. To celebrate two centuries of care, the MGH is pleased to introduce other “first patients.”
Here are their stories . .
Patient Pioneer: The Story of Courtney Joyce – the first MGH patient to benefit from inhaled nitric oxide (NO) as a therapy for cystic fibrosis.
Patient Pioneer: The Story of David Monnot – the first patient to receive CAR-T therapy for central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma at the MGH.
Patient Pioneer: The Story of Edward Mari – the first patient in New England to undergo a minimally invasive tricuspid valve replacement.
Patient Pioneer: The Story of Maureen Chapman – the first non-infant patient to undergo extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).