STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Saving the Lives of “Blue Babies”

BreathroughBreakthrough! How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever
by Jim Murphy
144 pages; ages 10 & up
Clarion Books, 2015

If you have a young reader who loves mysteries, technology, invention, science – a kid who thinks that someday she will want to be a doctor, put this book in her hands! Or his hands.

Author Jim Murphy tells the story of one of the first successful heart operations ever performed. It’s about the medical breakthrough that not only saved the lives of tens of thousands of children but also opened the way for future heart surgeries.

And it took place in 1944. An unlikely team performed this high-risk surgery: surgeon Dr. Alfred Blalock; pediatric physician Dr. Helen Taussig; and African-American lab assistant Vivien Thomas. Blalock received the fame, but it was Thomas who developed and perfected the surgical technique to repair the hearts of children born with “blue baby” syndrome. In fact, he was the only person who had ever carried out the surgery successfully on a research animal.

Most of the people working at Johns Hopkins had no idea of Thomas’s genius – many of them thought he was a janitor.

You can read the full review at Archimedes Notebook.

STEM Friday

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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