Medicine: Upside-Down Valve

Mrs. Raymond G. Wilmer, 47, a housewife in the Cleveland suburb of Parma, had a mitral valve so scarred from rheumatic fever that it did not let enough blood flow from the left auricle into the left ventricle. Often such valves can be repaired with a deft scalpel: many are now replaced with artificial valves. But Mrs. Wilmer's valve was too damaged for repair, and scarring left no room for an artificial implant.

Fortunately, Heart Surgeon Earle B. Kay had a third technique ready to try. At St. Vincent Charity Hospital he had recently set up a bank of human heart valves...

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