Visitors to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital learned how blood flows to and around the brain during a tour of medical facilities.
The Friday, September 11 tours were part of the Oxford Open Doors programme of events, where city institutions opened to the public.
Friday’s two free tours – which were fully booked – was hosted by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.
It focussed on how our understanding of how blood circulates in humans was advanced by 17th century clinicians William Harvey and Thomas Willis.
Using meticulous dissection and examination of human corpses with simple well-planned experiments, their books described how the heart propels blood through the body and illustrated how a complex connection of arteries supplies blood to the brain.
The tour started with a ten minute introductory talk with access to copies and drawings from the books, which helped shape our current research and treatment for a range of vascular disorders.
Visitors were shown around the hospital’s Cardiovascular Clinical Research Facility, part of the University of Oxford’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.
Demonstrations included an echocardiogram heart scan machine to help research into conditions such as subarachnoid haemorrhage, stroke and heart attack.
They also toured cutting edge facilities at the Acute Vascular Imaging Centre (AVIC), part of the University’s Investigative Medicine Division (IMD).
The £13m centre was established in 2011 and is an internationally unique research centre for clinical cardiac and brain research in the emergency setting.
Its MRI scanner allows researchers to study the impact of treatments in real time on the body. If required, patients can also get treatment just a few yards from the scanner in an invasive angiography laboratory.