Frequently Asked Questions



What happened to Eileen Saxon, the first infant to undergo the "Blue Baby" procedure, how long did she survive?

The infant who underwent the first "Blue Baby" or shunt operation became blue (cyanotic) again a few months later. Another shunt was attempted on the opposite side of the chest, but sadly she died a few days afterwards, very close to her third birthday. Later, after more operations were performed, it became clear that surgery worked better in children over three years of age because their arteries had had more time to develop. Eileen herself could not have waited, because she was dangerously cyanotic.




The Operation

The Surgeon - Alfred Blalock

The Pediatric Cardiologist
Helen B. Taussig

The Surgical Technician
Vivien T. Thomas


Frequently Asked Questions
Sources for this Exhibit



The Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions