Morton Mower, a cardiologist who helped invent a non-invasive implant that saved many lives by restoring potentially fatal heart rhythms to an electric shock, died April 25 in Denver. He was 89.
His son, Mark, said the cause was cancer.
Dr. Mower and Drs. Michel Mirowski, a co-worker at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, began working in 1969 on a device that would be so small that it could be implanted under the abdominal skin and quickly adjust the heartbeat in danger. bad.
Dr. Mirowski had the idea of reducing the defibrillator; Dr. Mower, who had trained in electrical engineering in his underground garage, believed it could be done.
“We were crazy people who wanted to put a temporary bomb on people’s chests,” said Drs. Mower said in 2015 in an interview with the medical journal Lancet, which noted at the time that two million people worldwide had received the implant. device.
Doctors quickly developed the model and established a partnership in 1972 with Medrad, a manufacturer of medical equipment. But the development of implantable defibrillator was its critics.
Writing in Circuit, the American Heart Association magazine, Drs. Bernard Lown, who discovered the first effective external defibrillator, and Dr. Paul Axelrod stated that patients with ventricular fibrillation were better treated with surgery or an anti-arrhythmia program.
“In fact,” they said, “the implanted anti-depressant system represents an incomplete solution in finding acceptable and acceptable use.”
Work continued. After animal testing, the battery-powered device, about the size of a deck card, was first implanted in humans at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1980. Five years later, it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
At the time, the FDA said a removable fiber cutter could save 10,000 to 20,000 lives a year by allowing people to correct their arrhythmias quickly instead of waiting to reach hospital emergency rooms, where outputs, and their pads, were used.
Dr. Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, president of the American Heart Association, said in a telephone interview that 300,000 devices, now as small as a dollar, are implanted every year.
“Letting people walk around using a coagulation device, instead of being in a hospital under constant supervision, was actually a revolution in saving the lives of people at risk of severe heart attack,” Drs. Lloyd-Jones said.
He added that another advantage of the device – officially known as the implantable cardioverter defibrillator – is that its electric shock is delivered directly to the heart. The vibration of the external coagulation must transport from its pads through the skin and tissues before reaching the heart.
Dr. Mower and Drs. Mirowski was inducted into the Outstanding House of Inquisition in 2002, along with Alois Langer, a project engineer in Medrad, and M. Stephen Heilman, the company’s founder.
Morton Maimon Mower was born on January 31, 1933, in Baltimore and grew up in Frederick, about 50 miles west. Her father, Robert, was a shoemaker, and her mother, Pauline (Maimon) Mower, was a domestic worker.
As a young man Morton worked during the summer for his Uncle Sam, who owned a bathhouse and a toy store in Atlantic City. When his uncle became ill, Morton was delighted with the way the family treated him during his home visits.
“They sat him down; they gave him a cup of tea, ”Dr. Mower told a graduate journal of the Maryland School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1959, in an interview. “I thought, Gee, that’s not bad. That’s what I’d like to do.”
After receiving his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1955, where he was in the original med program, and graduated from medical school, Drs. Mower completed vocational training at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
He became a senior resident at Sinai Hospital in 1962 and then served in the Armed Forces, from 1963 to 1965, in Bremerhaven, Germany, where he served as chief of medicine.
In 1966, he began a six-year career as a detective in the Sinai heart medicine project. He eventually became the attending physician and chief of cardiology at the hospital. The building was named after his college in 2005.
Dr. Mower became wealthy as a result of licensing defibrillator technology and used his money to create a large art collection that included works of Rembrandt, Picasso and the Impressionist masters.
After leaving Sinai in 1989, he worked for two defibrillator manufacturers: Cardiac Pacemakers, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly, as vice president, and Guidant, as consultant. He later taught medicine at Johns Hopkins and, more recently, a medical school at the University of Colorado in Aurora.
Recently Dr. Mower created a company, Rocky Mountain Biphasic, to seek commercial use for its many patents in areas including heart disease, wound healing, diabetes and Covid-19.
In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife, Toby (Kurland) Mower, a registered nurse; daughter, Robin Mower; three grandchildren; brother, Bernard; and sister, Susan Burke. He lived in Denver.
The work of Drs. Mower in regenerating heart rhythms did not end with a fibrila contraction that can be implanted.
“I realized this was an incomplete treatment,” he told The Lancet, referring to the defibrillator. “It prevented right ventricular afibrillation, but did not help anything to support the function of the left ventricle. People were still dying of heart failure.
He and Dr. Mirowski went on to invent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CRT), which uses a portable device such as a pacemaker to send electrical impulses to the right and left ventricles of the heart to force them to freeze more effectively. planned structure.
“CRT was as early as non-removable fiber removers,” Drs. Mower said, adding that when he started testing patients in the Netherlands, “it was almost amazing how patients would come out with heart failure.”