The "blue baby" operation in 1944 was the first successful open heart surgery on an infant.
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Johns Hopkins, part of the Helen B. Taussig Congenital Heart Center, has a rich history, including the development in 1944 of the first open-heart surgery – known as the “blue baby” operation – to correct congenital heart defects in infants. Until then, most infants and children with congenital heart disease had no hope for cure and died prematurely. After that first successful operation, hundreds of children traveled to Baltimore for surgery, and over the ensuing decades many more underwent ever more complex operations, to correct anomalies.
Today, that tradition of ground-breaking innovation continues with an experienced team of pediatric cardiac surgeons performing over 250 congenital cardiac procedures and pediatric heart transplant operations each year. Working with physicians and staff in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, these surgeons provide the full spectrum of pediatric heart surgery services for newborns, children and adolescents. These same highly skilled surgeons are committed to studying and evaluating new methods of surgical treatment and improving surgical outcomes through clinical and laboratory research.
Now equipped with the latest technology for both evaluating and treating pediatric heart disorders in the new Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center, the pediatric cardiac surgery team is providing services in an even more advanced environment.
A Heart for Olivia
One late August morning, Olivia Strama broke out in a rash and started breathing “a little funny,” says her mother, Amanda Strama, who thought she might be dehydrated. But after Olivia’s pediatrician examined the 4-month-old and immediately called for an ambulance, both Amanda and her husband, Alex, suddenly realized Olivia’s condition was much more serious.
Learn More About A Heart for Olivia