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MedTech Week: When medical technology goes straight to the heart

As part of MedTech Week 2016, B. Braun employee Yasar Bolat tells his story and explains what medical technology means to him.

June 13 – 17, 2016 is Medtech Week. During this week, MedTech Europe - an alliance of European medical technology industry associations - examines the importance of medical technology in people's daily lives – from diagnostics, to treatment, to cure. As part of MedTech Week 2016, B. Braun employee Yasar Bolat tells his story and explains what medical technology means to him.

Yasar Bolat received an operation following a heart attack. The surgeon used a cardiac clamp like the ones Bolat produces himself, as a surgical instrument mechanic.

Yasar Bolat knows exactly what cardiothoracic surgery can do, from his own experience. Following a heart attack, he had an operation and the surgeon used a cardiac clamp; a generally routine circumstance. The special thing about Yasar Bolat: for a total of 37 years, he has worked in the clamp production at Aesculap AG in Tuttlingen, a division of B. Braun Melsungen AG. He knows every attribute of this clamp, which was also used for his own heart.

In September of 2001, he suffered a heart attack and was brought to the Freiburg university hospital. Examinations found that he needed a bypass operation. To gain an understanding of his patient, the treating physician asked him about his employer and his job during the consult. After hearing the keywords "B. Braun" and "cardiac and specialized clamps," the practitioner left the exam room, returned with five cardiac clamps, and asked, "Like these, you mean?"  With an expert's eye, Bolat examined the clamps, took one in hand and replied, "I made this!"  "And it will be used to operate on you tomorrow," said the doctor.

"I never thought that I'd have an operation performed with something that I made myself," he says, still with astonishment years later. "It was pretty strange to hold and work on a clamp again after the operation," Yasar Bolat remembers. "It's a good feeling, that such a thing exists." The operation using the clamp was successful and Bolat's heart hasn't caused him any problems since.

Yasar Bolat came to Germany in October of 1972. He has worked at Aesculap AG for 43 years  – and more than 20 other members of his family, as well; a total of three generations. They are all proud to manufacture "super medical products," as they like to say, and to help people as a result.