Definition of Shunt, Blalock-Taussig
Shunt, Blalock-Taussig: A pioneering heart operation named after the American surgeon Alfred Blalock (1899-1964) and the pediatric cardiologist Helen B. Taussig (1898-1986).
Dr. Taussig designed and Dr. Blalock carried out the first "blue-baby" operation to treat a child born with a previously inoperable heart malformation (tetralogy of Fallot). The procedure joined an artery leaving the heart to an artery leading to the lungs to give the blood a second chance at oxygenation. The joining (anastomosis) was of the subclavian artery to the pulmonary artery. It was the first blue baby operation and came to be known as the Blalock-Taussig shunt.
This operation, which was first done on November 29, 1944 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, is a major landmark in the history of children's heart surgery.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Need help identifying pills and medications?
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions