Medical breakthroughs make an appearance every now and again and have profoundly changed the way doctors have conducted their practices. What could be taken for granted today was unheard of a few decades ago, so not many people know what has changed the medical field since it began. Many people would admit that it has definitely been for the better, especially with the increased survival rates over the years.
This is more than just the introduction of soap or latex gloves; these are medical procedures that have made it, so people no longer have to suffer from specific ailments to the point that they succumb to them. So what are these medical breakthroughs? Here are the 20 most noteworthy events in the medical industry that have changed both the practice and how patients are approached in today’s modern age.
20. Organ Transplant
The kidney was the first human organ to be successfully transplanted in 1954. Since that time, the US has continuously worked to refine and perfect the process of organ donation and transplantation. While originally limited to the organs of deceased donors, 1989 and 1990 saw the first successful living organ transplants: the liver and lung. In 2021, surgeons performed over 40,000 life-saving organ transplants.
There’s no doubt that the organ donation and transplant process has completely changed the healthcare industry. Over 100,000 people in the US are on waiting lists for transplants, and those who receive transplants could see their life expectancy extended by a decade or more. And though there are risks associated with the surgery – as with any major surgery – organ recipients agree that the benefits far outweigh the potential dangers. Being able to live a longer, healthier life is possible for tens of thousands of people a year because of the organ transplant procedure.