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Medical Milestones

  • 1958 – Croup
    St. Jude begins using the latest device to treat croup.
  • 1959 – Brain Diagnosis Technology
    St. Jude Hospital purchases an electroencephalograph (EEG), used to record the brain’s spontaneous electrical activity to diagnose brain disorders such as epilepsy.
  • 1964 – First pacemaker
    A young surgeon named Paul Ovando, M.D., implants the Orange County’s first cardiac pacemaker at St. Jude Medical Center.
  • 1972 – Robot Chemist
    St. Jude introduces the “Robot Chemist,” the predecessor to automated chemistry testing.
  • 1975 – Special Care Unit
    St. Jude Medical Center opens Orange County’s first Special Care Unit, a specialized unit to monitor the most seriously ill patients.
  • 1997 – St. Jude Breast Center
    St. Jude opens north Orange County’s first dedicated breast center, offering the newest technology in diagnosis and imaging.
  • 2001 – Positron Emission Tomography
    St. Jude becomes one of only four hospitals in the county to offer its patient access to Positron Emission Tomography (PET), an imaging technology that helps to visualize the biochemical changes taking place in the body.
  • 2001 – IMRT and SRS
    Two sophisticated ways to provide radiation to cancer patients are introduced at St. Jude Medical Center—Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)—concentrate the radiation more precisely, allowing doctors to deliver stronger doses with fewer side effects.
  • 2001 – Gamma Detection System
    Doctors at St. Jude begin using a new cutting-edge process to help cancer patients, called the Neo2000 Gamma Detection System to provide surgeons with information on if and where the tumor has traveled without having to remove and test the surrounding lymph nodes.
  • 2002 – BAT
    The first in Orange County to offer B-mode Acquisition and Targeting (BAT), St. Jude Medical Center leads the way in providing improvements in prostate cancer treatment, by combining 3-D computer imaging and advanced ultrasound technology.
  • 2004 – Open MRI
    St. Jude Medical Center offers Open MRI, combining state-of-the-art capabilities with a non-claustrophobic design, providing high resolution images of the body’s structures.
  • 2007 – Digital Mammography
    St. Jude’s Kathryn T. McCarty Breast Center offers digital mammography, providing remarkably higher image quality and the ability to magnify fine details, sophisticated computer-aided detection software and Breast MRI at the Fetters Diagnostic Imaging Center, the most precise breast imaging tool available.
  • 2008 – Motorika REO
    St. Jude is the first in Orange County and one of three in the state to offer the Motorika Reo technology that uses captivating electronic games and a robotic system to help stroke and neurology patients recover.
  • 2009 – Robotic Catheter Ablation
    St. Jude Medical Center is the first hospital in Southern California to offer robotic catheter ablation—an innovative minimally invasive technique to treat cardiac arrhythmias.
  • 2009 – Barrx Procedure
    St. Jude Medical Center is the second hospital in Orange County to offer the Barrx procedure, a safe, non-surgical treatment that uses HALO ablation technology to treat Barrett’s Esophagus, a precancerous condition, without injuring the healthy underlying tissue.
  • 2009 – Live 3D Echo
    Live 3D Echo ultrasound is introduced at St. Jude, allowing cardiologists more precise visualization of the beating heart. Enhanced images can be rotated and manipulated to better assess valve function, treatment options, and the complex anatomy of the heart— giving surgeons an advantage in pre- and post-surgical planning.
  • 2010 – da Vinci® Robot
    St. Jude Medical Center adds the newest generation, $2 million, state-of-the-art da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System to its minimally invasive surgery program. The da Vinci® features high-definition optics and superior visualization, presenting surgeons with a three-dimensional view of the surgical site.
  • 2010 – iSuites
    The state-of-the-art St. Jude Plaza Surgery Center offers unmatched care and comfort, with seven surgical suites—called iSuites—that combine advanced imaging equipment, innovative technology, and sophisticated computer capabilities.