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 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

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 done at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.[1] In 1976, the university awarded the surgeon an honorary doctorate.[2]

Blue baby: A baby who is cyanotic (blue), due usually to a heart malformation that prevents the baby's blood from being fully oxygenated. The bluish color reflects the deoxygenated state of the blood. (Oxygenated blood is red.) Sometimes the term "blue baby" is also applied to a child who is cyanotic due to failure by the lungs to oxygenate the blood.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Hopkins pioneered 'blue baby' surgery 50 years ago 'I remember ... thinking tt was impossible'". Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  2. "Vivien T. Thomas, L.L.D". Medical archives. Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 

3. http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=24529