Skip Navigation Bar
National Intitutes of Health
This finding aids platform will be replaced in Fall 2022. Please explore the new platform Beta soft release by visiting https://archivesspace.nlm.nih.gov


National Library of Medicine

Finding Aid to the Nina Starr Braunwald Cardiovascular Research Film Collection, 1960-1965

Historical Audiovisual Program History of Medicine Division
Processed by Rachel James; Gabrielle Barr
Processing Completed 2018
Encoded by Gabrielle Barr


Summary Information
Title: Nina Starr Braunwald Cardiovascular Research Film Collection
Creator: Braunwald, Nina Starr, 1928-1992
Dates: 1960-1965
Extent: 1 linear feet (19 reels, 1 box)
Abstract:
UNPROCESSED COLLECTION. Contents are 16mm film reels of varying length, most silent and in color, originating in the National Heart Institute. They depict Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald performing heart surgeries, chiefly the experimental implantation of artificial heart valves of her own design and fabrication.

Call number: ACC 2018-07
Language: Collection materials primarily in English
Location: History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Access Restrictions:

Unprocessed collection. Access requires production of viewing copies; 30 days prior notice required. Contact the Historical Audiovisuals Program for more information.

Copyright:

The National Library of Medicine believes these items to be in the public domain. Contact the Reference Staff for details regarding rights.

Preferred Citation:

Braunwald, Nina Starr, 1928-1992. Nina Starr Braunwald Cardiovascular Research Film Collection. 1960-1965. Located in: Historical Audiovisuals Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD; ACC 2018-07.

Provenance:

Transfer, National Archives and Records Administration-Washington National Records Center, 1999, Accession 2018-07.


braunwald201807Finding Aid to the Nina Starr Braunwald Cardiovascular Research Film Collection, 1960-1965Historical Audiovisuals Program, History of Medicine Division1.0History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, 20894
USA
Phone: (301) 402-8878 (Reference Desk)
Fax: (301) 402-0872
Email: hmdref@nlm.nih.gov
Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Gabrielle BarrFinding aid is written in English

National Library of Medicine

Finding Aid to the Nina Starr Braunwald Cardiovascular Research Film Collection, 1960-1965

Historical Audiovisual Program History of Medicine Division
Processed by Rachel James; Gabrielle Barr
Processing Completed 2018
Encoded by Gabrielle Barr

Descriptive Summary

Braunwald, Nina Starr, 1928-1992Nina Starr Braunwald Cardiovascular Research Film Collection Dates: 1960-19651 linear feet (19 reels, 1 box)ACC 2018-07History of Medicine Division. National Library of MedicineCollection materials primarily in EnglishAbstract:UNPROCESSED COLLECTION. Contents are 16mm film reels of varying length, most silent and in color, originating in the National Heart Institute. They depict Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald performing heart surgeries, chiefly the experimental implantation of artificial heart valves of her own design and fabrication.Provenance:

Transfer, National Archives and Records Administration-Washington National Records Center, 1999, Accession 2018-07.

Access Restrictions:

Unprocessed collection. Access requires production of viewing copies; 30 days prior notice required. Contact the Historical Audiovisuals Program for more information.

Copyright:

The National Library of Medicine believes these items to be in the public domain. Contact the Reference Staff for details regarding rights.

Preferred Citation:

Braunwald, Nina Starr, 1928-1992. Nina Starr Braunwald Cardiovascular Research Film Collection. 1960-1965. Located in: Historical Audiovisuals Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD; ACC 2018-07.

Biographical/Historical Note

Nina Starr Braunwald was born in 1928 in New York City. She earned a bachelor's degree and medical diploma from New York University, and completed a residency at New York's Bellevue Hospital in 1955. Braunwald completed her training in general surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center and took part in a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Charles Hufnagel, who developed the first artificial heart valve.

Under the tutelage of Dr. Andrew G. Morrow at the Clinic of Surgery in the National Heart Institute (now the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute), Braunwald worked with Dr. Morrow to develop an artificial mitral valve using Teflon ribbons, which she tested on dogs. In 1960, she replaced the mitral valve of a 44-year-old woman with her artificial valve. The surgery and valve replacement were considered a success despite the patient's death four months later. Dr. Braunwald also helped develop the Braunwald-Cutter valve, which was a cloth-covered, mechanical device that was used in thousands of surgeries until it was superceded by the Starr-Edwards valve. Braunwald was appointed deputy chief of the Clinic of Surgery at the National Heart Institute in 1965 but left three years later to take an associate professorship in surgery at the University of California, San Diego, where she established a cardiovascular surgery program. She then became an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School in 1972 and went on to serve on the staffs of several Boston-area hospitals including Boston Children's, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the West Roxbury Veterans Administration Hospital.

As a woman in the male-dominated field of heart surgery, she faced numerous obstacles after leaving the National Heart Institute where her mentor, Dr. Morrow, had bolstered her reputation and skills in the surgical community. Dr. Braunwald persevered. In addition to the artificial valves she developed at NIH, she also contributed to the development of a stented aortic homograft for mitral valve replacement and pioneered techniques to discourage the formation of clots associated with prosthetic valves and circulatory assist devices. Among her many accomplishments, Braunwald was the first women to perform open heart surgery, the first woman to be certified by the American Board of Thoracic surgery, and the first woman to be selected for the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. The Association of Women Surgeons presented her with its Distinguished Member Award for her achievements. Nina Braunwald died of breast cancer on August 5, 1992 in Weston, Massachusetts.


The seventeen titles, arranged roughly in chronological order, were created between 1960 and 1965. They highlight Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald's research and experimentation in heart valve replacement. These films show the variety of techniques she used along with prototypes of several models of artificial valves, ranging from the ceramic artificial valve to the Teflon ball valve prosthesis. The reel titles were transcribed from film cans, and the item level descriptions are based on information found in individual cards containing production and film description information provided by the Medical Arts and Photography Branch at NIH, which filmed the surgeries.

Index Terms

These terms are indexed in the National Library of Medicine's online catalog LocatorPlus. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog using these terms.

    MeSH Subjects

    • Cardiovascular Surgical Procedures
    • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation
    • Heart-Assist Devices
    • Thoracic Surgery
    Corporate Names

    • National Heart Institute
    • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
    Geographic Names

    • Maryland
    Genre Terms

    • Documentaries and Factual Films

    Series Descriptions

    1A-173 Canine Heart Surgery plus Mitral Valve and-or Mitral Valvulotomy, 11 Feb 1960; 18 Feb 1960Length: 150'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    Circulation in the dog's heart is monitored post-surgery. This film is on the same reel as Mitral Valve and-or Mitral Valvulotomy.

    The valve is opened and cleared out in an attempt to create space within it. This film is on the same reel as Canine Heart Surgery.

    Leader says Canine Heart Surg. Artif. Mitral Valve.

    1A-183 Artificial Mitral Valve, 15 June 1960Length: 100'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The heart valve pumps with the assistance of the pulse duplicator machine.

    1A-184 Aortic Valve, 17 Aug 1960Length: 60'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The heart valve pumps with the assistance of the pulse duplicator machine.

    1A-272 Artificial Heart Valves, 17 Aug 1960Length: 227'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The blood pumps through the replacement heart valve, and the valve is shown from another angle.

    1A-184; A-189 Aortic Valve, 22 Aug 1960Length: 100'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The aortic heart valve is pumping blood.

    1A-185 Artificial Heart Valve, 30 Aug 1960Length: 400'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The film depicts the pouring of a ceramic mold to form the shape of the valve as well as the brushing of adhesive onto the valve. The heart valve mold is formed, and stitches are attached. Some scenes show sketches of the heart and other chest organs. There is a comparison of pre-and post-operation heart beat monitoring. The valve is sewn into the heart but without a strong heartbeat.

    Notes say that the copy is a duplicate negative and shows footage of the entire process of implanting the artificial valve and watching it pump. There may be a soundtrack that was not transferred with this collection.

    1A-193 Artificial Heart Valve, 2 Nov 1960Length: 30'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The artificial heart valve is depicted pumping shortly after surgery as the stitches around the valve are shown.

    1A-209 Mitral Valve, 18 Nov 1960Length: 60'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The mitral valve is shown pumping, likely shortly post surgery, as the tissue had not completely healed.

    1A-187 Defective Aortic Valve, Normal Mitral Valve, 22 Nov 1960Length: 325'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The aortic valve is shown from both sides. One of the sides of the valve has deteriorating tissue.

    1A-199 Artificial Mitral and Aortic Valve, 9 March 1961Length: 30'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The artificial valve is pumping after a completed surgery. The tissue surrounding the valve has begun to heal.

    1A-230 Artificial Heart Valve, 19 March 1962Length: 30'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The heart valve is shown pumping and then opening and closing.

    1A-235 Control of Hemorrhage Using Plastic Adhesive, 9 April 1962Length: 800'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    A bottle of Eastman 910 Monomer, a tissue adhesive, is used during this surgery. Levophed, which stimulates adrenergic receptors, is also applied to the incision. The heartbeat accelerates, then the opening is sealed. At the end of the film, the incision ruptures.

    1A-002 Control of Hemorrhage Using Plastic Adhesive, 9 April 1962Length: 533'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    This version is similar to film no. A-235, though it is longer. An incision is made, and Eastman 910 Monomer and Levophed are applied to help stanch bleeding. The film also show the testing of the adhesive.

    Note on can says 5 minute copy.

    1A-282 Flex Tester for Pacemaker Wires, 18 April 1963Length: 100'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    Pacemaker wires are stretched and bounced at different speeds to see how they move and work while attached to a pacemaker and heart muscles.

    Note on leader says original color and black and white.

    1A-145 Complete Replacement of the Aortic Valve with a Teflon Fabric Prosthesis, 1965Length: 513'. Color, silent.
    1 reel.

    The thoracic cage is sawed open and blood is drained from the aortic valve. Circulation to the valve is restricted, damaged tissue is removed, and a new Teflon prosthesis, a ball valve model, is inserted. The ball valve is lowered into the chest, sewn in, and the chest cavity is closed.

    Note states that the fiilm was produced by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and that it is a duplicate negative.

    1A-110 New Surgical Adhesive in Dogs Parts 1-3, 9 May 1965Length: 111'. Color, silent.
    3 reels.

    Reel 1: There is an incision into an organ. Adhesive is applied to the top of the incision. The adhesive is then tested for its bonding ability. This film is related to "New Adhesive in Dogs" parts 2 and 3 but appears to be the complete version with no missing scenes.

    Reel 2: Similar in content to part 1, though portions are dark and images obscured.

    Reel 3: Appears identical to parts 1 and 2. There are missing scenes when the reel becomes dark.


    Collection Scope and Content Note

    The seventeen titles, arranged roughly in chronological order, were created between 1960 and 1965. They highlight Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald's research and experimentation in heart valve replacement. These films show the variety of techniques she used along with prototypes of several models of artificial valves, ranging from the ceramic artificial valve to the Teflon ball valve prosthesis. The reel titles were transcribed from film cans, and the item level descriptions are based on information found in individual cards containing production and film description information provided by the Medical Arts and Photography Branch at NIH, which filmed the surgeries.

    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    1 A-173
    Canine Heart Surgery plus Mitral Valve and-or Mitral Valvulotomy, 11 Feb 1960; 18 Feb 1960
    [Length: 150'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    Circulation in the dog's heart is monitored post-surgery. This film is on the same reel as Mitral Valve and-or Mitral Valvulotomy.

    The valve is opened and cleared out in an attempt to create space within it. This film is on the same reel as Canine Heart Surgery.

    Leader says Canine Heart Surg. Artif. Mitral Valve.

    1 A-183
    Artificial Mitral Valve, 15 June 1960
    [Length: 100'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The heart valve pumps with the assistance of the pulse duplicator machine.

    1 A-184
    Aortic Valve, 17 Aug 1960
    [Length: 60'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The heart valve pumps with the assistance of the pulse duplicator machine.

    1 A-272
    Artificial Heart Valves, 17 Aug 1960
    [Length: 227'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The blood pumps through the replacement heart valve, and the valve is shown from another angle.

    1 A-184; A-189
    Aortic Valve, 22 Aug 1960
    [Length: 100'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The aortic heart valve is pumping blood.

    1 A-185
    Artificial Heart Valve, 30 Aug 1960
    [Length: 400'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The film depicts the pouring of a ceramic mold to form the shape of the valve as well as the brushing of adhesive onto the valve. The heart valve mold is formed, and stitches are attached. Some scenes show sketches of the heart and other chest organs. There is a comparison of pre-and post-operation heart beat monitoring. The valve is sewn into the heart but without a strong heartbeat.

    Notes say that the copy is a duplicate negative and shows footage of the entire process of implanting the artificial valve and watching it pump. There may be a soundtrack that was not transferred with this collection.

    1 A-193
    Artificial Heart Valve, 2 Nov 1960
    [Length: 30'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The artificial heart valve is depicted pumping shortly after surgery as the stitches around the valve are shown.

    1 A-209
    Mitral Valve, 18 Nov 1960
    [Length: 60'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The mitral valve is shown pumping, likely shortly post surgery, as the tissue had not completely healed.

    1 A-187
    Defective Aortic Valve, Normal Mitral Valve, 22 Nov 1960
    [Length: 325'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The aortic valve is shown from both sides. One of the sides of the valve has deteriorating tissue.

    1 A-199
    Artificial Mitral and Aortic Valve, 9 March 1961
    [Length: 30'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The artificial valve is pumping after a completed surgery. The tissue surrounding the valve has begun to heal.

    1 A-230
    Artificial Heart Valve, 19 March 1962
    [Length: 30'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The heart valve is shown pumping and then opening and closing.

    1 A-235
    Control of Hemorrhage Using Plastic Adhesive, 9 April 1962
    [Length: 800'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    A bottle of Eastman 910 Monomer, a tissue adhesive, is used during this surgery. Levophed, which stimulates adrenergic receptors, is also applied to the incision. The heartbeat accelerates, then the opening is sealed. At the end of the film, the incision ruptures.

    1 A-002
    Control of Hemorrhage Using Plastic Adhesive, 9 April 1962
    [Length: 533'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    This version is similar to film no. A-235, though it is longer. An incision is made, and Eastman 910 Monomer and Levophed are applied to help stanch bleeding. The film also show the testing of the adhesive.

    Note on can says 5 minute copy.

    1 A-282
    Flex Tester for Pacemaker Wires, 18 April 1963
    [Length: 100'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    Pacemaker wires are stretched and bounced at different speeds to see how they move and work while attached to a pacemaker and heart muscles.

    Note on leader says original color and black and white.

    1 A-145
    Complete Replacement of the Aortic Valve with a Teflon Fabric Prosthesis, 1965
    [Length: 513'. Color, silent.]

    1 reel.

    The thoracic cage is sawed open and blood is drained from the aortic valve. Circulation to the valve is restricted, damaged tissue is removed, and a new Teflon prosthesis, a ball valve model, is inserted. The ball valve is lowered into the chest, sewn in, and the chest cavity is closed.

    Note states that the fiilm was produced by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and that it is a duplicate negative.

    1 A-110
    New Surgical Adhesive in Dogs Parts 1-3, 9 May 1965
    [Length: 111'. Color, silent.]

    3 reels.

    Reel 1: There is an incision into an organ. Adhesive is applied to the top of the incision. The adhesive is then tested for its bonding ability. This film is related to "New Adhesive in Dogs" parts 2 and 3 but appears to be the complete version with no missing scenes.

    Reel 2: Similar in content to part 1, though portions are dark and images obscured.

    Reel 3: Appears identical to parts 1 and 2. There are missing scenes when the reel becomes dark.