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The Michael E. DeBakey Papers

A Conversation Remembering Michael E. DeBakey with Dr. Donald A. B. Lindberg and Dr. O. H. 'Bud' Frazier
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O. H. "Bud" Frazier (b. 1940) is Chief of Cardiopulmonary Transplantation, Program Director and Chief, Center for Cardiac Support, and Director of Cardiovascular Surgery Research at the Texas Heart Institute; he is also the Chief of Transplant Service at St. Luke's Medical Center; Professor of Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center; and tenured professor at Baylor College of Medicine. For over twenty-five years, Dr. Frazier has been a pioneer in the treatment of severe cardiac failure, including heart transplantation and artificial devices that can be used to assist or replace failing hearts. He has performed over 1,100 transplants and implanted more than 700 left ventricular assist devices.
Dr. Frazier graduated from the University of Texas and received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in 1967. He served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Army 48th Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam from 1968-1970, and received three service medals. He then returned to Houston and completed his specialty training in general surgery under Dr. Michael DeBakey at Baylor Affiliated Hospitals and a residency in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery under Dr. Denton Cooley at the Texas Heart Institute.
Dr. Frazier traces his interest in mechanical circulatory support to a medical school research paper he wrote about DeBakey's artificial heart research in 1966. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he continued experimental work toward development of the implantable HeartMate I left ventricular assist device (LVAD). In 1986, he was the first to implant this device in a human, and it has since become the most widely used implantable LVAD in the world. Dr. Frazier's seminal work in this field continued with experimental studies that resulted in the first intravascular, implantable continuous flow pump (Hemopump) which he first used clinically in 1988. He has since then implanted several other models of continuous flow pumps, as well as the AbioCor total artificial heart, first implanted in 2001. In 2011, he and his colleague Dr. Billy Cohn used two continuous flow pumps to replace the heart of a patient with amyloidosis.
In this interview with Dr. Donald A. B. Lindberg, Dr. Frazier talks about his early experiences at Baylor College of Medicine, training with Dr. DeBakey, DeBakey's intolerance of error, and his impact as a teacher and as an administrator. Dr. Frazier also discusses how his work with DeBakey led him to specialize in transplant surgery and the development of left ventricular assist devices, including continuous flow pumps. He mentions that his work with Dr. Cooley at Texas Heart Institute caused DeBakey to stop talking to him for many years, although they eventually reconciled. He also talks about persuading the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to support the development of implantable pumps during the 1980s.
Running Time:
58 minutes, 47 seconds
2010-03-31 (March 31, 2010)
Frazier, O H
Texas Heart Institute
Interviewer: Lindberg, Donald A. B.
National Library of Medicine
Reproduced with permission of O H Frazier.
Exhibit Category:
Biographical Information
Metadata Record "A Conversation Remembering Michael E. DeBakey with Dr. Donald A. B. Lindberg and Dr. O. H. 'Bud' Frazier" [Transcript] (March 31, 2010) pdf (1,193,565 Bytes) ocr (47,013 Bytes)
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