Richard A. DeWall, M.D., (1926-2016)
Dr. Richard A. DeWall invented the DeWall Bubble Oxygenator, the first workable, portable heart-lung machine in 1955. A replica of the Bubble Oxygenator has been exhibited in the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History.
Mrs. Virginia Kettering invited Dr. DeWall to initiate an open-heart surgery program at Kettering Hospital in Dayton, where he performed the first open-heart surgery in 1966. He then established the general surgery residency- training program, serving as its director from 1970-1976 and also acted as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health.
The winner of many national awards, his proudest accomplishment was his role as the founder of Wright State University School of Medicine because he wrote the original proposal in 1970 for what would become the medical school. He also was instrumental in establishing the WSU Academy of Medicine to assist medical students in education costs. Dr. DeWall continued work in advancing innovative medical devices and held several additional patents.