Vivien Thomas

Question Description

Can you help me understand this Health & Medical question?


What will you do:

1) read about Vivien Thomas :…
2) learn about the scientific work of Vivien Thomas

After reviewing the background and scientific work of Vivien Thomas, write a 350 or more word reflection on what you discovered. You might wish to address some of the following:

  1. What was most interesting to you in reviewing these resources?
  2. What did you learn from these resources about Tetralogy of Fallot?
  3. What new questions do you have after reviewing these resources?
  4. What do these resources tell you about the types of people that do science?

Scientist Spotlight: Vivien Thomas

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Vivien Thomas was a surgical technician and scientist who developed several groundbreaking cardiac surgeries. Although he was trained as a carpenter and never went to medical school or even college because he had to work, after his first year of college he joined the lab of Dr. Alfred Blalock as a lab assistant. That began a close, decades-long collaboration where they used animal studies to, among other things, discover the cause of circulatory shock and develop the first surgery to correct “blue baby syndrome.” Later, Thomas collaborated with Dr. Levi Watkins to become the first people to implant an automatic defibrillator, which detects and corrects irregular heartbeats, in a human patient. He also was the supervisor of the surgical laboratories at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and trained countless surgical technicians and surgeons. After over three decades of working for the University, Johns Hopkins presented him with an honorary doctorate and appointed him as an Instructor of Surgery. Please read the biography of Vivien Thomas linked below, originally printed in The Washingtonian and now on “Like Something the Lord Made.” Note: if you want to learn more about him, there has been a PBS documentary, Partners of the Heart, as well as an HBO movie, Something the Lord Made, about his life. One of the most famous surgeries Thomas and Blalock developed was one that helped children born with the condition Tetralogy of Fallot. Please read about this condition and compare it with typical human circulation.

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