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Pediatric Cardiology Defended Blue Baby Syndrome


Cardiology is a branch of medical science that deals with heart related disorders of human beings or animals. The branch includes clinical diagnosis as well as treatment of diverse heart-diseases, such as, heart failure, congenital heart defects, electrophysiology, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, etc. And Pediatrics is the branch of medical science that deals with provision of healthcare to infants, children, as well as adolescents. The age limit of Pediatrics ranges from 0 to 18 years, in general. And the term Pediatric Cardiology indicates to the special branch of medicine that deals with heart related problems of the infants, children & adolescents.

‘Blue baby’ or ‘blue baby syndrome’ is one kind of pediatric heart defect that occurs if the newborn infants exhibit heart cyanosis. Pediatric Cardiology has defined several causes behind this syndrome. Those are: Tetralogy of Fallot; irregularity in the total connections of pulmonary venous; Tricuspid atresia; Tricuspid atresia; relentless Truncus Arteriosus; transposition of large vessels; etc.

Pediatric Cardiology defines that Tetralogy of Fallot is one of the major causes of blue baby syndrome. In this type syndrome, the babies born with incomplete wall between the ventricles – that is medically termed as ventricular septal defect (VSD) – and an artery that is the root cause behind this defect, as the blood from both of the ventricles rather than flowing from the left. Then, the right-sided ventricular outflow area near the pulmonary valve hinders the blood-flow towards the lungs. To overcome this defect a strong right ventricle is required.

‘Pediatric Cardiology’ also indicates that ‘blue baby syndrome’ might be a result of Methemoglobinemia. It is caused by severe nitrate contamination in the ground water that results into low capacity of ‘oxygen carrying hemoglobin’ in the blood cells of the affected babies. Usually, groundwater is contaminated by the nitrate based fertilizer that is frequently applied in the agricultural lands & waste dumps. Additionally, this contamination can also result from use of several pesticides, such as, DDT or PCBs.

On the 29th of November in 1944, Pediatric Cardiology enabled the surgeons to perform the foremost successful operation on a case of ‘Tetralogy of Fallot’ in Johns Hopkins Hospital. Surgeon Alfred Blalock and pediatric cardiology specialist Helen B. Taussig cooperatively tried to find treatment for ‘Blue baby syndrome’. Vivien Thomas – a surgical technician working under Blalock – developed for a procedure of joining the subclavian artery with the pulmonary artery that method was applied in the ground breaking surgery. The surgery of Tetralogy of Fallot was world-wide known as ‘Blalock-Thomas-Taussig shunt’. Thus, Pediatric Cardiology defended ‘Blue Baby Syndrome’.

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