Blalock Shunt

A Blalock shunt is a surgical procedure in which a connection is made between one of the two subclavian arteries (which normally deliver oxygen-rich blood to the neck and arms) and one of the pulmonary arteries (which carry blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs for oxygenation).

The shunt may be used as a temporary treatment for congenital heart disorders, such as tetralogy of Fallot, in which oxygen-depleted blood is diverted back to the heart before it reaches the lungs. The shunt redirects the oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs.

The improved blood oxygen levels allow the child to survive and grow until corrective surgery is possible.