[Blog Post] Australian Medical Inventions and Firsts

We haven’t been left behind in Medical breakthroughs here in Australia with some great inventions and procedures coming from our sunny shores, here’s a list of some of them.

  1. Anthrax Vaccine – John McGarvie Smith secretly discovered this and donated it to the NSW Government before he died.
  2. Heart Pacemaker – A doctor who wished to remain anonymous invented the original pacemaker in 1926.
  3. Zinc Cream – This white sun block made from zinc oxide was developed by the Fauldings Pharmaceutical Company in 1940.
  4. Redback Spider Antivenom – released for use against the poisonous bite of the redback spider in 1956.
  5. Plastic Spectacle Lenses – were designed in 1960 and were the world’s first plastic lenses for spectacles weighing 60% less than glass lenses.
  6. Ultrasound – the first ultrasound scanner was built in 1961 by Australian Scientists at the Commonwealth Health Departments.
  7. Latex Gloves – though the Ansell company had been making household gloves since 1925, in 1964 they came up with disposable latex gloves for use in surgery.
  8. Polyvalent Snake Antivenom – was created in 1968 and is a snake antivenom which acts against the poison from most Australian snakes.
  9. Microsurgery Pioneered – not only did Professor Earl Owen design the first microsurgery tools with Zeiss, he also performed the first microsurgery operation where he rejoined an amputated index finger in 1970.
  10. Bionic Ear – 1979 saw the Cochlear Implant, which helped the hearing impaired and profoundly deaf.
  11. Reading Machine for the Blind – invented in 1990 and also a world first.
    Flu Vaccine Redenza – the world’s first anti-influenza drug developed in 1996 and approved for release in Australia, Europe and the USA in 2000.
  12. Night and Day Contact Lenses – developed in 1999 which allowed more oxygen to get to the eye allowing people to wear them for up to 30 days and nights.
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