Disorders

Truman William Brophy (1848–1928)

By Jillian Renee Kersten

Truman William Brophy developed a cleft palate surgical repair, later called the Brophy Operation, in the late nineteenth century US. The procedure improved facial aesthetics and speech in cleft palate patients. A cleft palate occurs during development when the palatal bones in the roof of the mouth don't completely fuse, leaving an opening, or cleft, in the upper lip and mouth. Brophy's cleft repair used compression inside and outside of the mouth to push the palatal bones into normal alignment shortly after birth.

Created 2017-02-11

Last modified 4 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

John Chassar Moir (1900–1977)

By Dorothy Haskett, Patsy Ciardullo

John Chassar Moir lived in Scotland during the twentieth century and helped develop techniques to improve the health of pregnant women. Moir helped to discover compounds that doctors could administer to women after childbirth to prevent life-threatening blood loss. Those compounds included the ergot alkaloid called ergometrine, also called ergonovine, and d-lysergic acid beta-propanolamide. Moir tested ergometrine in postpartum patients and documented that it helped prevent or manage postpartum hemorrhage in women.

Created 2017-02-11

Last modified 4 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1805-1861)

By Jesse Potestas

Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire studied anatomy and congenital abnormalities in humans and other animals in nineteenth century France. Under the tutelage of his father, Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore compiled and built on his father's studies of individuals with developmental malformations, then called monstrosities.

Created 2017-02-11

Last modified 4 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

William Thornton Mustard (1914-1987)

By Daniella Caudle

William Thornton Mustard was a surgeon in Canada during the twentieth century who developed surgical techniques to treat children who had congenital heart defects. Mustard has two surgeries named after him, both of which he helped to develop. The first of these surgeries replaces damaged or paralyzed muscles in individuals who have polio, a virus that can cause paralysis. The other technique corrects a condition called the transposition of the great arteries (TGA) that is noticed at birth.

Created 2017-02-11

Last modified 4 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

The Mustard Operation

By Daniella Caudle

The Mustard Operation is a surgical technique to correct a heart condition called the transposition of the great arteries (TGA). TGA is a birth defect in which the placement of the two arteries, the pulmonary artery, which supplies deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the aorta, which takes oxygenated blood to the body are switched. William Thornton Mustard developed the operation later named for him and in 1963 operated on an infant with TGA, and ameliorated the condition, at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

Created 2017-02-17

Last modified 4 months 6 days ago

Format: Articles

Neonatal Jaundice

By Arianna Bradley

Neonatal jaundice is the yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes due to elevated bilirubin levels in the bloodstream of a newborn. Bilirubin is a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells. Jaundiced infants are unable to process bilirubin at a normal rate or they have an abnormally high amount of bilirubin in their bloodstream, resulting in a buildup of the yellow colored bilirubin. That build up is called hyperbilirubinemia and is the cause of jaundice.

Created 2017-02-23

Last modified 1 month 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Dandy-Walker Syndrome

By Alexandra Bohnenberger

Dandy-Walker Syndrome is a congenital brain defect in humans characterized by malformations to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls movement, and to the ventricles, the fluid-filled cavities that surround the cerebellum. The syndrome is named for physicians Walter Dandy and Arthur Walker who described associated signs and symptoms of the syndrome in the 1900s. The malformations often develop during embryonic stages.

Created 2017-03-02

Last modified 1 month 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)

By Daniella Caudle

Transposition of the great arteries or TGA is a potentially fatal congenital heart malformation where the pulmonary artery and the aorta are switched. The switch means that the aorta, which normally carries oxygenated blood, carries deoxygenated blood. There are two types of the malformation, d-TGA where no oxygen reaches the body and l-TGA where some oxygenated blood circulates. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control estimate that about 1,901 infants are born each year with TGA, or about one for every 2,000 births.

Created 2017-03-02

Last modified 1 month 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Hydrocephalus During Infancy

By Alexandra Bohnenberger

Hydrocephalus is a congenital or acquired disorder characterized by the abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cavities of the brain, called ventricles. The accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid, the clear fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, causes an abnormal widening of the ventricles. The widening creates potentially harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain that can result in brain damage or death.

Created 2017-03-07

Last modified 1 month 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Agent Orange Birth Defects

By Jesse King, Cecilia Chou

Sprayed extensively by the US military in Vietnam, Agent Orange contained a dioxin contaminant later found to be toxic to humans. Despite reports by Vietnamese citizens and Vietnam War veterans of increased rates of stillbirths and birth defects in their children, studies in the 1980s showed conflicting evidence for an association between the two. In 1996, the US National Academy of Sciences reported that there was evidence that suggested dioxin and Agent Orange exposure caused spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal cord develops improperly.

Created 2017-03-07

Last modified 1 month 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Agent Orange as a Cause of Spina Bifida

By Cecilia Chou

Spina bifida is a birth defect that affects the spines of developing fetuses and infants, and research in the 20th century indicated that chemicals in the herbicide Agent Orange likely lead to the birth defect. People with spina bifida can have nerve damage, paralysis, and mental disabilities. During the Vietnam War in the 1960s, the US military employed Agent Orange and other herbicides to destroy enemy crops and forest cover until 1970.

Created 2017-03-09

Last modified 1 month 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

"The Familial Factor in Toxemia of Pregnancy" (1968), by Leon C. Chesley, et al.

By Sarah Patel

In the 1950s and 1960s, researchers Leon Chesley, John Annitto, and Robert Cosgrove investigated the possible familial factor for the conditions of preeclampsia and eclampsia in pregnant women. Preeclampsia and eclampsia, which are related to high blood pressure, have unknown causes and affect at least five percent of all pregnancies.

Created 2017-03-16

Last modified 1 month 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

“An Extended Family with a Dominantly Inherited Speech Disorder” (1990), by Jane A. Hurst et al.

By Kat Fowler

In 1990, researcher Jane Hurst and her colleagues published “An Extended Family With a Dominantly Inherited Speech Disorder,” in which they proposed that a single gene was responsible for a language disorder across three generations of a family. Affected individuals of the family, called the KE family, had difficulty producing, expressing and comprehending speech. Hurst and her team studied the KE family and the disorder at the Department of Clinical Genetics at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, England.

Created 2017-03-23

Last modified 1 month 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Jeffrey Weinzweig's Experiments on In Utero Cleft Palate Repair in Goats (1999-2002)

By Jillian R. Kersten

Jeffrey Weinzweig and his team, in the US at the turn of the twenty-first century, performed a series of experiments on fetal goats to study the feasibility of repairing cleft palates on organisms still in the womb. Weinzweig , a plastic surgeon who specialized in cleft palate repair, and his team developed a method to cause cleft palates in fetal goats that are similar to clefts that occur in human fetuses. Using their goat congenital model, the team developed a method to repair a congenital cleft palate in utero, or in the womb.

Created 2017-04-07

Last modified 2 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

Martius Flap Procedure to Repair Obstetric Fistulas

By Patsy Ciardullo

The Martius flap procedure is a surgical procedure used to treat obstetric fistulas in women. Heinrich Martius developed the procedure in twentieth century Germany to treat women with urinary incontinence caused by stress, and later doctors used it to repair obstetric fistulas. Fistulas occur in pregnant women when a hole is torn between the vagina and the urinary tract (called vesicovaginal) or the vagina and the rectum (called rectovaginal). The hole, or fistula, occurs in the tissue separating two organs and therefore obstetric fistulas result in either urinary or fecal incontinence.

Created 2017-04-10

Last modified 1 month 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

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