Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has been the site of important medical and surgical innovations in lung and respiratory health care for well over a century—stretching back to when BWH was known as the Boston Lying-In Hospital and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital
Anesthesia was administered in childbirth for the first time in 1847 at the Boston Lying-In Hospital. In 1929, the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital introduced the world to the Drinker respirator (or iron lung), which successfully saved a young polio patient’s life. In the early 1990s, a team of surgeons participated in the first wave of successful lung, heart-lung and triple organ transplants at BWH. Thoracic surgeons here were also among the first to develop minimally invasive lung surgery and, more recently, image-guided thoracic surgery (iVATS).
These milestones had their infancy in the research laboratories of BWH where physician-scientists continue to discover and test respiratory treatments and cures, including landmark studies in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. It was only fitting that clinical and research expertise for lung disease merged at BWH in 2015. The Lung Center and its affiliated Lung Research Center launched, heralding a strong connection between respiratory specialists and sub-specialists throughout BWH in clinical care and innovation and marking a new era in lung health for adults with respiratory disease.
Today there are more recipients waiting for organ transplants than there are organs available. And while the current opioid crisis has produced more available organs for transplantation, those with hepatitis C viral infection have previously been considered ineligible. With a new antiviral treatment regimen, could it be possible to transplant these organs, prevent the establishment of hepatitis C in the recipients, and produce an excellent outcome in patients? A team of infectious disease experts, transplant physicians and surgeons from the Brigham proved, with an effectiveness of 100 percent, that it is.