By Lisa Yount
This e-book examines the careers of Blalock, a white male healthcare professional; Taussig, a white girl heart specialist; and Thomas, an African American male laboratory technician; who in 1944 mixed their abilities to create a groundbreaking surgery that not just stored the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids, but additionally made surgeons conscious that surgical procedure on dwelling hearts used to be attainable.
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Extra info for Alfred Blalock, Helen Taussig, & Vivien Thomas: Mending Children's Hearts
And waited. “After forty-five minutes, when he still had not come, I went ahead with the procedure and slowly and painstakingly struggled on through alone,” Thomas wrote in his autobiography. Blalock arrived only as Thomas was preparing to sew up the dog at the end of the operation. Increasingly often after that, Blalock—just as he had done earlier with the laboratory procedures—showed Thomas how to do an operation only once, then expected Thomas to do it on his own or with the help of a medical student.
Indd 31 8/23/11 11:59 AM 32 ALFRED BLALOCK, HELEN TAUSSIG, AND VIVIEN THOMAS lungs, and major blood vessels on a screen. When Taussig wanted to examine a child with this device, she placed the child between the fluoroscope and the screen. By having her young patient take different positions, she could observe the size and shape of its heart and attached blood vessels from different angles. Sometimes she asked the child to swallow a substance called barium (blended into chocolate pudding to disguise its chalky taste), in order to make the outlines in the fluoroscope pictures clearer.
The profanity [Blalock] used would have made the proverbial sailor proud of him,” Thomas wrote in his autobiography. Thomas simply stood there and let Blalock shout. Then, after the doctor had finally stalked out of the room, Thomas went to the laboratory’s locker room, changed into his street clothes, and returned to Blalock’s office. ” Thomas quickly made it clear that he did not feel the same way. ” If Blalock was going to behave like that, Thomas went on, he would take his pay and seek work elsewhere.
Alfred Blalock, Helen Taussig, & Vivien Thomas: Mending Children's Hearts by Lisa Yount