Alfred Blalock, Helen Taussig, & Vivien Thomas: Mending by Lisa Yount PDF

By Lisa Yount

ISBN-10: 1604136588

ISBN-13: 9781604136586

This booklet examines the careers of Blalock, a white male medical professional; Taussig, a white woman heart specialist; and Thomas, an African American male laboratory technician; who in 1944 mixed their abilities to create a groundbreaking surgery that not just kept the lives of hundreds of thousands of youngsters, but additionally made surgeons conscious that surgical procedure on residing hearts was once attainable.

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Additional info for Alfred Blalock, Helen Taussig, & Vivien Thomas: Mending Children's Hearts

Example text

Head and upper extremities 7b. Trunk and lower extremities © Infobase Learning A fetus, or unborn baby, does not use its lungs before birth, so most of the blood in its pulmonary artery bypasses the lungs and flows directly into the aorta. The blood is transferred through a small vessel, or shunt, called the ductus arteriosus, which is shown in this diagram of the unborn child’s circulation. The ductus arteriosus normally seals off soon after birth, after which all the blood from the pulmonary artery goes to the lungs.

Inspired by a family physician he had known as a child, Thomas had decided that he wanted to become a doctor, and he wanted to begin premedical study at nearby Tennessee State College. At first, he expected that the offered job would help him cover his college expenses. In October, however, the nation’s stock market crashed, beginning the Great Depression of the 1930s, and Thomas found that he needed the money simply to survive. The new decade might have seemed promising to Alfred Blalock and Helen Taussig, but for Vivien Thomas its prospects were grim.

The friendship was not without its strains, however, and most of them concerned Thomas’s paycheck. That issue first came up in May 1930, after Thomas heard about a construction job opening at Fisk University. Thomas still viewed his laboratory work as merely a way to get by until better-paying jobs like this appeared, so he told Blalock that he was quitting. By that time, Blalock apparently had realized what a find the young African American was. He did his best to persuade Thomas to stay, listing all the advantages he saw laboratory work as having over construction.

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Alfred Blalock, Helen Taussig, & Vivien Thomas: Mending Children's Hearts by Lisa Yount


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