Blue baby operation: A surgical procedure for a baby who is cyanotic (blue) due to a heart malformation that prevents blood from being fully oxygenated. The bluish color reflects the deoxygenated state of the blood. The surgery is designed to palliate or ideally correct the heart defect and relieve the cyanosis.
The term originated with a pioneering heart operation named after the surgeon Dr. Alfred Blalock (1899-1964) and the children’s heart specialist Dr. Helen Taussig (1898-1986). Dr. Taussig designed the first blue baby operation and Dr. Blalock performed it. The operation was done to treat a child with a previously inoperable heart malformation called the tetralogy of Fallot. The surgical 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 done on November 29, 1944 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, is a major landmark in the history of children’s heart surgery.
- Blue cohosh
Blue cohosh: (Caulophyllum thalictroides). A tall North American perennial plant with large blue berries. Blue cohosh is sold as an herbal dietary supplement that can induce labor. Blue cohosh contains the glycosides caulosaponin and caulophyllosaponin, which cause uterine contraction and constriction of the coronary arteries in experimental animals. There is considerable concern about the medical […]
- Blurred vision
Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine detail. Blurred vision can occur when a person who wears corrective lens is without them. Blurred vision can also be an important clue to eye disease.
Blush: Redness of the skin as a result of dilated capillaries, typically over the cheeks or neck. Blushing is an involuntary response of the nervous system that leads to widening of the capillaries in the involved skin. A blush is temporary, and it may be brought on by excitement, exercise, fever, or embarrassment. Also known […]
BKA: Acronym standing for “below knee amputation.” A nurse scrubbing for a BKA is preparing to assist in a below-knee amputation. BKA is as opposed to AKA (above knee amputation).
Medical journals: In 1665 the Royal Society in England published one of the first 2 scientific journals in the world: the “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.” The other was the “Journal des Scavants” (Scholars) which appeared in France the same year. From these 2 journals are descended the many thousands of scientific periodicals today, […]