Cardiol Young 2009; 19: 119–128
© Cambridge University Press
Accepted for publication 7 January 2009
First published online 19 February 2009
Historical Vignette: The Blalock-Taussig shunt: the social history of an eponym
William N Evans, MD
ChildrenŐs Heart Center Nevada, 3006 S Maryland Pkwy, Ste 690, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA.
Creating eponyms for surgical procedures or medical discoveries can be a simple objective process of attaching names of innovators. Some eponyms, however, have a controversial history. Undertaking the first systemic-to-pulmonary arterial shunt required the combined efforts of Helen Taussig, Vivien Thomas, and Alfred Blalock. In this review, I attempt to look beyond the mechanics of attributing the eponym to the larger social history surrounding the term.