Morton Mower, an entrepreneurial cardiologist who helped invent an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator that saved many lives by returning potentially deadly arrhythmias to normal with an electrical shock, said April 25. Died in Denver. He was 89 years old.
His son, Mark, said the cause was cancer.
With Dr. Mower Dr. Michel MirowskiA colleague at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore set out in 1969 to develop a device that could be implanted under the skin of the abdomen and was small enough to quickly correct the rhythm of the heart in the event of a dangerous situation.
Dr. Milovsky had the idea of downsizing the defibrillator. Dr. Mower, who studied electrical engineering at a basement workshop, believed he could do it.
“We were crazy guys who wanted to put a time bomb on people’s chests.” Dr. Mower said in an interview with the medical journal The Lancet in 2015.At that time, 2 million people around the world said they were receiving embedded devices.
Doctors quickly developed a prototype and in 1972 partnered with medical device maker Medrad. However, there have been criticisms about the development of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators.
Journal of the American Heart Association, Writing in Circulation, Dr. Bernard LaunInvented the first effective external defibrillator, and Dr. Paul Axelrod said patients with ventricular fibrillation were better treated by surgery or antiarrhythmic programs.
“In fact, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator systems are an incomplete solution in finding plausible and practical applications,” they said.
Work continued. After being tested on animals, a battery-powered device, almost the size of a card deck, was first implanted in humans at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1980. Five years later, it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
At that time, the FDA said that implantable cardioverter-defibrillators could quickly correct arrhythmias rather than waiting for them to arrive in the emergency room of a hospital where an external defibrillator with a paddle is used. By doing so, he said he could save 10,000 to 20,000 lives a year.
Dr. Donald M. Lloyd JonesIn a telephone interview, the president of the American Heart Association said that 300,000 devices, now as small as a dollar coin, are being transplanted each year.
“Walking around with a defibrillator, rather than being in a hospital that is constantly being treated, is truly revolutionary in saving the lives of people at risk of a fatal heart attack. It was, “said Dr. Lloyd Jones.
He added that another advantage of this device (formally known as an automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) is that its electric shock is transmitted directly to the heart. The impact of an external defibrillator must travel from the paddle through the skin and tissues before it reaches the heart.
Dr. Mower and Dr. Mirowski became Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002, along with Medrad project engineer Alois Ranger and company founder M. Stephen Heilman.
Morton Maimon Mower was born on January 31, 1933 in Baltimore and grew up in Frederick, about 50 miles west. His father, Robert, was a cobbler, and his mother, Pauline (Mymon) Moa, was a housewife.
As a child, Morton worked for Uncle Sam, who owned a bathhouse and a toy store in Atlantic City during the summer. When his uncle got sick, Morton was impressed with how his family treated the doctor during the call to his house.
“They made him sit. They made him drink tea.” Dr. Mower told the University of Maryland School of Medicine alumni magazine: He graduated in an interview in 1959. “Gee, I thought it wasn’t bad. That’s what I want to do.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1955 and graduating from medical school, Dr. Mower completed an internship at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
He became the Chief Resident of the Sinai Hospital in 1962 and served in the Army Medical Corps in Bremerhaven, Germany from 1963 to 1965, where he was the Dean of Medicine.
In 1966, he began his six-year mission as a researcher on the Sinai coronary drug project. He eventually became his doctor and the director of the hospital’s Department of Cardiology. The building was named after him on campus in 2005.
Dr. Mower became wealthy from the licensing of defibrillator technology and used his money to build a large art collection that included the works of Rembrandt, Picasso, and Impressionist masters.
After leaving Sinai in 1989, he worked for two defibrillator manufacturers. Cardiac Pacemakers, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly, served as vice president and Guidant served as a consultant. He later taught medicine at Johns Hopkins and more recently at the University of Colorado at Aurora.
Dr. Mower recently founded a company called Rocky Mountain Biphasic to find commercial uses for his many patents in areas such as cardiology, wound healing, diabetes and Covid-19.
In addition to his son, he is surviving by his wife, registered nurse Toby (Kurland) Mower. Daughter Robin More. Three grandchildren. Brother, Bernard. And his sister Susan Burke. He lived in Denver.
Dr. Mower’s work to reset the rhythm of the heart did not end with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
“I found this to be an incomplete cure,” he told Lancet, referring to the defibrillator. “It prevented atrial fibrillation in the right ventricle, but did nothing to support the functioning of the left ventricle. People were dying of congestive heart failure.”
He and Dr. Milovsky continued to invent Cardiac resynchronization therapy, Or CRT. An implantable device such as a pacemaker is used to send electrical impulses to the right and left ventricles of the heart, causing them to contract in a more efficient and organized pattern.
“CRT was an advance as much as an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator,” said Dr. Mower, when he began testing the treatment of patients in the Netherlands, “it’s almost unbelievable how patients get out of heart failure. It was. “