Blue-baby syndrome

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A cyanotic newborn, or "blue baby"
Diagram showing normal blood circulation (above) and the blood circulation in a defective heart

Blue baby syndrome (or simply, blue baby) is usually caused by a heart defect which laymen often call "a hole in the heart". Normally, oxygenated blood from the lungs is separated from deoxygenated blood from other tissues. A defect in the heart ventricle walls can allow deoxygenated blood to mix with the blood from the lungs. The resulting blood going through the aorta has less oxygen than usual, and the baby looks blue. An operation is usually done to fix this problem.

There are several heart defects which produce this syndrome. There are also some causes which are not related to heart conditions.

On November 29, 1944, the first successful operation for the heart condition was performed 70 years ago at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.[1] In 1976, the university awarded the surgeon an honorary doctorate.[2]

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