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Heart of a child.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
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About this work


The story of three-day-old baby Bradley Austin, who was born with transposed arteries in his heart. The medical staff at Brompton Hospital, London work to save his life using new technology.


UK : Central Office of Information, 1977.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (14 min.) : sound, color.



Copyright note

Crown copyright, managed by BFI.

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Produced by Central Office of Information for Foreign and Commonwealth Office. With thanks to Brompton Hospital, London and Mr and Mrs J. Austin.


This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archive


Segment 1 Opening credits. A little boy is seen playing. A male narrator introduces him as Bradley, who is 14-months-old and has a heart defect. The date is 1 November, 1976, and Bradley is about to have heart surgery to repair the defect. The operating theatre of the paediatric unit at London's Brompton Hospital is seen, and a similar procedure that Bradley underwent at his birth is seen. The narrator describes the procedure: a catheter enters the heart, dye is injected, and the problem area located. A temporary hole was then created to help deoxygenated and oxygenated blood mix. The doctor explains Bradley's condition (transposed main arteries) to Bradley's parents. The paediatric ward is seen and the narrator explains that they have a very high success rate when operating on young children. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:04:29:09 Length: 00:04:29:09
Segment 2 Bradley is now a patient on the ward, having his heart monitored. The work of Bob Anderson, the anatomist, is seen. He is building a model of a transposed heart to see where the cells that carry electrical signals are located. A technician completes the model, which is large and made of foam. Bradley's surgery begins. He is under general anaesthetic, and ice has been packed around his body to bring his temperature down. His chest is opened and the heart's pumping is reduced. The surgeon searches for the heart's electrical cells with a probe. The bloodflow through the heart is stopped with a clamp. The inside of the heart is measured. Time start: 00:04:29:09 Time end: 00:09:23:11 Length: 00:04:54:02
Segment 3 The new 'plumbing system', which will allow the oxygenated blood to mix and circulate around the body, is inserted. The heart is restarted and blood flow begins as it would in a normal heart. He is taken to Intensive Care, where a nursing team and electronic team monitor him. They particularly monitor his carbon dioxide levels. Bradley's parents are brought to see him. He wakes up and leaves the ICU. He is seen a few days later playing. The narrator says that the signs are he will lead a normal, healthy life. Time start: 00:09:23:11 Time end: 00:13:58:17 Length: 00:04:35:06



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