Posts Tagged ‘Blue Baby Operation’

Present at the Creation

April 22, 2009

“In late November 1944 Dr. Blalock did the first Blue Baby operation on Eileen Saxon. I believe Denton Cooley was the Intern. The operation was done in late November just before changing services, and I rotated onto the service as Denton rotated off.

My job was to take care of Eileen. A lot of people, mainly Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig, were hovering over her. She didn’t seem to be less blue than she had been before the operation, but Eileen got better over the next few days.

It is interesting how little treatment we had to give back then. There wasn’t really much you could do except put a child in an oxygen tent, which increased the oxygen from 20 percent to 28 percent, obviously not much help. We did not have chest tubes, no intubation during general anesthesia, and none of the other things that are commonly done at the present time. Her operation had been done without an endotracheal tube, only with a mask. Miss Berger, the nurse-anesthetist, did the procedure.” – Dr. Henry T. Bahnson; interview appearing in Pioneers of Cardiac Surgery by William S. Stoney, M.D. Copyright 2008 Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville, Tennessee