DÍA DE LA MEDICINA SOCIAL: René Favaloro, el médico rural que revolucionó a la cardiología mundial

La técnica del bypass desarrollada por el cardiocirujano argentino René Favaloro (1923-2000), en cuyo natalicio se celebra el Día de la Medicina Social, figura en la plataforma cultural de Google como uno de los «400 inventos y descubrimientos que cambiaron la historia de la humanidad».

«Es un orgullo que hayan elegido a la técnica del bypass como parte de esas 400 invenciones en el mundo y considero que esa inclusión en la plataforma es un camino para que las personas más jóvenes puedan conocer a René, tanto al doctor como al hombre», dijo en una oportunidad a Télam su sobrina Liliana Favaloro, presidenta de la Fundación Favaloro.

Liliana también sostuvo que el legado de su tío representa un «decálogo muy bueno para los médicos y cirujanos, como también su faceta ‘humanista’: «A él le encantaba ir a las provincias, dar charlas en comunidad, encontrarse con alumnos en la escuela, todas cosas muy valiosas».

A partir de videos contados en primera persona, imágenes inéditas, fragmentos de libros y fotos cualquier persona puede acceder a la muestra virtual de Google y hacer un recorrido online sobre la vida y trayectoria del legendario médico argentino.

Tras su graduación, Favaloro fue médico rural en la localidad pampeana de Jacinto Aráuz.Tras su graduación, Favaloro fue médico rural en la localidad pampeana de Jacinto Aráuz.

Su vida y su trayectoria
Favaloro, un prestigioso cirujano de tórax, fue el creador de la técnica del by pass aorto-coronario, o cirugía de revascularización miocárdica, que le otorgó gran prestigio internacional, pues el procedimiento cambió radicalmente la historia de la enfermedad coronaria.

Favaloro nació en la ciudad de La Plata el 12 de julio de 1923 y estudio medicina en la Universidad de la capital bonaerense. Precisamente, en homenaje a su natalicio se celebra el Día de la Medicina Social.

Tras su graduación, Favaloro fue médico rural en la localidad pampeana de Jacinto Aráuz, donde realizó una importantísima tarea de prevención y difusión que llevó a una reducción drástica de la mortalidad infantil en la zona de influencia.

Infografía de Télam.Infografía de Télam.

En los años 60 partió a Estados Unidos para formarse como cirujano de tórax con el equipo de la Cleveland Clinic, de Ohio, al que eligió en base a su excelencia y referencias académicas.

El 9 de mayo de 1967, en la Cleveland Clinic, Favaloro condujo la primera operación a una mujer de 51 años con su nueva técnica de bypass, que revolucionó la cardiología mundial.

Su prestigio y trascendencia fue tal que, en 1992, el diario The New York Times lo consideró un «héroe mundial que cambió parte de la medicina moderna».

De retorno a su Argentina natal, creó en 1975 la Fundación Favaloro, un centro de capacitación de médicos diferentes partes del mundo, además del Laboratorio de Investigación Básica, dependiente del Departamento de Investigación y Docencia de la Fundación, luego convertido en el Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Básicas del Instituto Universitario de Ciencias Biomédicas.

Asimismo, fue creador de la Universidad Favaloro y del Instituto de Cardiología y Cirugía Cardiovascular.

Su personalidad
A pesar de ser un hombre que revolucionó la cardiología por ser el creador de una técnica que permitió salvar millones de vidas en el mundo, Favaloro se mostraba como una persona humilde, que anteponía los logros en equipo antes que los individuales.

«Era un apasionado por el trabajo, los pacientes y la sociedad», lo definió el actual secretario de la Fundación, Oscar Mendiz, quien destacó que «era un visionario y de mente abierta, porque pensaba que había que superar su trabajo».

«Su obsesión era el paciente, que no son números, que deben ser respetados».OSCAR MENDIZ, SECRETARIO DE LA FUNDACIÓN FAVALORO

«Lo importante es que Favaloro hacía hincapié en prevenir los factores de riesgo, la cirugía no cura la enfermedad», expresó oportunamente Mendiz y aseveró que «su obsesión era el paciente, que no son números, que deben ser respetados».

Sus colegas suelen destacar como «fundamental» la visión de Favaloro en cuanto al funcionamiento de los sistemas de salud, que deben trabajar en la prevención además del tratamiento de las enfermedades.

Favaloro creía que la medicina tenía que tener tres pilares esenciales: la asistencia médica, la docencia y la investigación.

Su recuerdo a lo largo del tiempo
El recuerdo de Favaloro en el país se agiganta con el tiempo.

Por ejemplo, el 9 de julio de 2016, más de cien ciudades argentinas colocaron en simultáneo, murales con dibujos de corazones en honor a Favaloro y su creación del by pass.

La Fundación Favaloro continúa el legado del cardiocirujano. La Fundación Favaloro continúa el legado del cardiocirujano.

Niños, familiares de personas operadas por el cardiocirujano, pacientes salvados por Favaloro y extranjeros colaboraron con las obras enviando su corazón de azulejo para sumarlo al dibujo general creado por las muralistas a cargo del proyecto en cada ciudad.

Asimismo, en 2015, fue inaugurado el Hospital General de Agudos «René Favaloro» en el partido bonaerense de La Matanza, cuyos servicios están orientados a la maternidad y la infancia.

Favaloro no solo se destacó como cardiocirujano, ya que su compromiso social lo llevó a integrar la Comisión Nacional sobre Desaparición de Personas, que generó el informe Nunca Más sobre los crímenes de Estado consumados por la última dictadura cívico-militar (1976-83).

Un hospital de La Matanza lleva el nombre de René Favaloro. Un hospital de La Matanza lleva el nombre de René Favaloro.

Escribió obras sobre medicina y también como aficionado a la historia, con títulos como «Tratamiento quirúrgico de la arteriosclerosis coronaria», «Recuerdos de un médico rural», «¿Conoce Ud. a San Martín?», «La memoria de Guayaquil» y «De La Pampa a los Estados Unidos», en el que relata su trayectoria de médico rural y el salto a la excelencia que lo lleva a ser uno de los cardiocirujanos más importantes de la historia.

El prestigioso cardiocirujano se suicidó el 29 de julio del 2000 al dispararse en el corazón, agobiado por la crisis financiera que atravesaba su Fundación y decepcionado ante la falta de respuestas por parte de las autoridades y de los empresarios.

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