Thursday, April 30, 2015

Not blue because of her

Don Surber tells the tale of Helen Taussig, who did pioneering work in pediatric cardiology.
"In 1944 doctors at Johns Hopkins performed the surgery that opened the door to today's heart surgery.Working together, The Johns Hopkins Hospital's chief surgeon, Dr. Alfred Blalock, his technician Vivien Thomas, and pediatric cardiologist Dr. Helen Taussig devised a means for improving the flow of oxygen into the blood by connecting one of the heart's major arteries with another feeding into the lungs. Known as the Blue Baby Operation, it brought relief to a young girl plagued with a combination of heart defects that kept her blood so starved for oxygen that her skin was literally blue. In time the procedure not only helped save the lives of thousands of similarly afflicted children around the world, but also opened the door to now-familiar procedures like coronary bypass surgery," according to the university's official history.
Many lived because of her work.

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