Cardiol Young 2009; 19: 119–128

© Cambridge University Press

ISSN 1047-9511


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.


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