Cardiac surgery is a specialty with a relatively short history. The difficulties and particularities of Cardiac Surgery made apparent right from the beginning that there was a need forspecialized anesthesiological support. In 1940, Cardiac Surgeons pioneers recognized the role and contribution of cardiac anesthesiologists. In 1945, Blalock thanking his anesthesiologist co-workers Lamont and Harmel in public and mentioned that thanks to their anesthesiological support there “was no death during the first 55 operations”. Russell Brock, in 1949, highlighted the importance of collaboration between cardiac surgeons and cardiac anesthesiologists and mentioned “In this type of surgeries co-operation is necessary. The anesthesiologist plays a vital role and deserves special honor and recognition.” Since the first application of the electrocardiogram to operating theatres in 1950, the introduction of transesophageal echocardiography perioperatively in 1971, until the last decade with the application of coagulation monitoring, the newer data in the management of severe bleeding and the anesthesiological support in brand new minimal invasive techniques, cardiac anesthesiologists have vitally supported the evolution of cardiac surgery. The following text is a historical review describing the contribution of cardiac anesthesia in a continuing effort to improving clinical outcome and enhancing the safety of cardiac surgery.

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