Died At Age: 96
Sun Sign: Gemini
Born in: Lackawaxen Township
Famous as: Physician
children: Carolyn, Dr. Katherine Halloran
place of death: New Haven
education: Lafayette College, University at Buffalo
awards: 1979 - AMA Scientific Achievement Award
Orvan Walter Hess was an American obstetrician and gynecologist, who developed the first, fetal heart monitor. This device allowed the continuous monitoring of the patient and the baby during labor. Hess, along with a fellow doctor, used penicillin to save the life of a patient who contracted scarlet fever and streptococcal infection. He completed his residency in gynecology and obstetrics before he became a clinical instructor at Yale School of Medicine, New Haven .He served as a frontline surgeon during the World War II. A major contributor to the progress of obstetrics and gynecology, Orvan Walter Hess was known to be an enthusiastic and energetic obstetrician and gynecologist. He spent almost 50 years of his life as an obstetrician at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Orvan Hess is one of the most celebrated medical practitioners in history, who also received the prestigious, ‘Scientific Achievement Award’. He also published many reports throughout his career. Read this biography to find out more about Orvan Walter Hess.
Hess was inspired by the article in ‘Reader’s Digest’ with the title ‘Germ Killers from Earth’ that explained how certain types of soil bacteria can kill streptococcal infections in animals. This led to the first clinical penicillin treatment in 1942, which was carried out by Hess and John Bumstead. Orvan Hess along with John Bumstead was known as the world’s first successful doctors who treated a patient with the help of penicillin. The treatment was performed on Anne Miller, who was suffering from streptococcal infection and scarlet fever. She successfully recovered from the disease after being administered a penicillin shot. Hess was honored with the ‘Scientific Achievement Award’ by the ‘American Medical Association’ in 1979.
During the 1930’s, Hess began his work on the fetal heart monitor as part of the research work at Yale University. Hess was frustrated with the fact that stethoscopes were useless on his pregnant patients with two heartbeats (maternal and fetal) and those who undergoing labor contractions. These limitations inspired Hess to develop the fetal heart monitor system.
ORVAN HESS TIMELINE
Orvan Hess was born on June 18, 1906.
He graduated from Lafayette College, Easton.
He married Carol Maurer.
He received his MD from the University of Buffalo.
He published his first paper regarding the use of catgut in the perineum.
He and John Bumstead conducted the first successful clinical penicillin treatment.
He returned back to New Haven to continue his research in Yale.
Hess, along with Edward Hon, invented the world’s first, fetal heart monitor system.
He was awarded the ‘Scientific Achievement Award’ from the ‘American Medical Association’.
He died on September 6, 2002.
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