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By Michael Mcconnell


Major advances in the treatment of children with congenital heart disease have occurred since the first successful palliation of a child with cyanotic congenital heart disease by Jonesboro, Georgia native Alfred Blalock, M.D. in 1945. Open-heart surgery to correct congenital heart disease began with the first reported successful closure of an atrial septal defect using hypothermic cardiac arrest performed by John Lewis M.D. in Minneapolis in 1952. In 1954, Walter Lillehei M.D. reported the successful closure of a ventricular septal defect in a child using “controlled cross circulation.” This technique, which preceded the use of a heart-lung bypass machine, used another family member as the oxygenator and the pump. The donor was connected to the patient using beer tubing, and the flow was regulated using clamps on the tubing. Later that same year, Dr. Lillehe

Year: 2011
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