Charles A. Hufnagel was a surgeon in the 1950's who invented the artificial heart valve replacement.
In September 1952 Dr. Hufnagel, then director of the Georgetown University Medical Center's surgical research laboratory, implanted an artificial valve into the heart of a 30-year-old woman.
The purpose of the aortic valve is to prevent blood from flowing backward into the heart. In the artificial valve the free-moving plastic ''pea'' in the tube was dislodged by the pulsing blood with each heartbeat, then fell back to close the tube between pulses.
Dr. Hufnagel later made significant contributions to the development of the modern heart-lung machine.
He was born in Louisville KY.
His father was also a physician and surgeon.
n 1974, Dr. Hufnagel served as chairman of a three-member medical panel that evaluated the condition of President Richard M. Nixon.
He studied at University of notre Dame and Harvard University.
Dr. Hufnagel was a member of more than 75 surgical and academic societies in the United States, Europe and South America.
He died in Washington, D.C on May 31, 1989 at the age of 72.