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Cardiac Surgery Unit celebrates 50 year anniversary

20th June 2018

Cardiac Theatre StaffThis June the Royal Victoria Hospital Cardiac Surgery Unit celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of its opening.

After years of sporadic cardiac surgery on the Royal site, largely performed without cardiopulmonary bypass, a new era of heart surgery commenced in June 1968 with two patients undergoing repair of atrial septal defects whilst one Aortic Valve Replacement was performed.

Cardiac Surgery has been a continual presence in the Royal Victoria Hospital since then and approximately 40,000 people have had major cardiac surgery in the same operating theatres.

As the regional centre for cardiac surgery in Northern Ireland the unit has saved thousands of lives from Coronary Heart disease, Northern Ireland’s biggest killer, as well as a host of other conditions connected to the heart.

To mark the occasion the unit organised a symposium to discuss the advancements in care that have been made since 1968, with Morrell Lyons, the first Consultant Anaesthetist in the Unit, giving a keynote address.

It was clear from this event that the Unit has consistently adapted and found new ways to treat cardiac conditions, improving patient safety and outcomes.