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Encyclopedia > Eileen Saxon

Eileen Saxon was an infant known as "The Blue Baby", because of a condition called blue baby syndrome caused by lack of oxygen in the blood. This made her lips and fingers turn blue, with the rest of her skin having a very faint blue tinge. She could only take a few steps before beginning to breathe heavily. A cyanotic newborn, or blue baby Blue baby syndrome (or simply, blue baby) is a laymans term used to describe newborns with cyanotic conditions, such as: Cyanotic heart defects Tetralogy of Fallot Dextro-Transposition of the great arteries Hypoplastic left heart syndrome Methemoglobinemia On November 29, 1944, the Johns... General Name, Symbol, Number oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series Chalcogens Group, Period, Block 16, 2, p Appearance colorless Atomic mass 15. ...

On November 29, 1944, Saxon was the first human to receive a groundbreaking operation (now known as a Blalock-Taussig shunt) suggested by pediatric cardiologist Helen B. Taussig and administered by Alfred Blalock, with Vivien Thomas, (the founder of the surgical technique), standing over his shoulder to advise him on performing the surgery. November 29 is the 333rd (in leap years the 334th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... In surgery, the Blalock-Taussig shunt is a procedure to treat Blue baby syndrome. ... Pediatrics (also spelled paediatrics or pædiatrics) is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. ... Cardiology is the branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart and blood vessels. ... Helen B(roke). ... Alfred Blalock (April 5, 1899 – September 15, 1964) was a 20th century innovator in the field of medical science most noted for his research on the medical emergency condition shock and blue baby syndrome. ... Vivien Thomas, probably ca. ...

The surgery had been designed and first performed on lab dogs by Thomas, who taught the technique to Blalock. Although Thomas perfected the technique, he could not perform the surgery because he was not a doctor. In fact, it was frowned upon when Dr. Blalock brought his black lab asssistant into the operating room to guide him through the surgery.

The surgery was not completely successful, though it did prolong her life for two more months. The team had a more complete success later, on an eleven year old girl.

Even though Eileen died, she lived long enough to demonstrate that the operation would work. The team later discovered the operation worked best in older children. Eileen herself could not have waited any longer. By the time the first shunt was attempted on her, she was in danger of dying.

  Results from FactBites:
The Blue Baby Miracle Home (679 words)
Eileen Saxon was a “blue baby.” She was born with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot.
Cardiac surgery is an extremely specialized field performed with such a high degree of sophistication, that it is difficult to imagine it has only been a little more than a half century since the heart was first operated on.
The operation had immediate impact as Eileen's lips turned pink as soon as it was finished.
  More results at FactBites »



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