Thursday, November 05, 2015

Canine Frankenstein From the Old Soviet Union

"As you can imagine, technique is everything..."

Sergei Bryukhonenko made enormous strides for medicine when, in the 1930s, he invented The Autojector, the worlds first life-support machine which acted as as a mechanical heart and lung.

Though primitive, it did the job and set in motion all the other life support machines to come later, including those that are commonly used in major surgeries around the world today.

Not often mentioned is that the testing and experimental process that led to the creation of the first heart-lung machine was very Frankenstein-like.

You see, in order to test a machine, you need a lot of subjects that are dying or newly dead.

Enter the dog.

Lots and lots of dogs.

Bryukonenko would kill the dogs first, and he would then use his primitive system of pumps and bowls to get their circulation and breathing systems fired up again.

In order to gin up support for his medical activities, Bryukonenko would put on dramatic presentations, draining all of the blood from a dogs' body, then restoring it, and bringing the dog back "alive" (even if seriously brain damaged).

Finally Bryukonenko pushed it even further, as the video (above) makes clear, going so far as to cut the heads off of dogs and then hooking them up to rubber tubing in order to "reanimate" them, if even only for a few minutes.

For his research, Bryukhonenko was posthumously awarded the Lenin Prize.


Seahorse said...

Yikes-o-rama, that decapitated dog experiment was beyond weird. No words....but the ghoul in me loves it.


Connemara said...

I thought it was pretty creepy too - And I watched it twice. Weird and fascinating!

geonni banner said...

For me it was just plain creepy. Luckily I didn't watch it too soon before bedtime. I think the worst for me was the happy dogs at the end - scarfing up their dinners. What bizarre crap would be visited on them next? :(

I'm generally not the squeamish type, but that video needs a warning label...

Fran Jurga said...

I wonder how many times Sergei Bryukhonenko sat in a darkened Soviet movie theater as a young man, watching the film version of Frankenstein, over and over?