Dr. Wilfrid Gordon Bigelow, 1913-2005

Dr. Wilfrid Gordon Bigelow, 1913-2005

Development of Heart Pacemaker and Open-heart Surgery

In 1951 Bigelow, in collaboration with Dr. J.C. Callaghan, and Dr. J.A. Hopps of the National Research Council of Canada, developed and tested the first artificial cardiac pacemaker for human use.  Their design formed the basis for subsequent technological developments and refinements leading to the modern implantable cardiac pacemaker.  He was also instrumental in the adoption of the 'Vineberg operation', which led to the development of modern coronary bypass surgery and for a safe technique for inducing and reversing human hypothermia which made possible the first open-heart surgery in humans.

Health and Life Science
Dr. Wilfrid Gordon Bigelow, 1913-2005