Rashkind balloon atrial septostomy

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The Rashkind balloon atrial septostomy is a medical procedure, performed during cardiac catheterization (heart cath), in which a balloon catheter is used to enlarge a foramen ovale, patent foramen ovale (PFO), or atrial septal defect (ASD) in order to increase oxygen saturation in patients with cyanotic congenital heart defects (CHDs). It was developed in 1966 by American surgeons William Rashkind and William Miller at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

William Rashkind was not a surgeon, but a pediatric cardiologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He was one of the fathers of the field of interventional catheterization, and he developed not only this life-saving technique and device for neonates with transposition of the great arteries, but also devices to close atrial septal defects (ASDs) and persistent patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). He was the chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia until his death in 1986 from malignant melanoma.