2000, Number 3
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ABSTRACTObjective: Narrate life and legacy of Werner Theodor Otto Forssmann.
Design: Historic essay (12 references).
Setting: University Department of History.
Results: Werner Forssmann was born in Germany on August 29, 1904. He did all his studies in his native Berlin until his graduation from the Friedrich Wilhelm School of Medicine in 1929. He began his surgical training at Augusta Victoria Home in Eberswalde, continued his surgical practice at Charité Hospital under supervision of Ferdinand Sauerbruch, received further urological training at Rudolf Virchow Hospital by Karl Heusch and worked as assistant surgeon of Albert Fromme at the City Hospital of Dresden. Forssmann was the first to perform a cardiac catheterization in humans, being himself the first person subjected to this procedure in 1929, and also able to apply himself intravenous contrast to the heart. With Heusch, he diminished the mortality of prostate surgery and innovated in urology. He served as surgeon officer during World War II, he was captured and released by the U.S army. During post-war period, he worked as an urologist with his assistant and also his wife. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1956, together with Dr. Cournand and Dr. Richards for their discoveries about cardiac catheterization and the pathological changes in the circulatory system. He was an exceptional courageous and brave man, with strong character and convictions. He served as surgeon in chief at the Evangelic Hospital at Düsseldorf until 1970 and died in retirement on June 1,1979 in Schopfeim, in the German Black Forest.
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