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Sunnybrook Hospital broadcasts live heart surgery

Canadian Living
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Sunnybrook Hospital broadcasts live heart surgery

Sunnybrook Heart Surgery Guest post by Erin Cassidy At 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, Toronto’s  Sunnybrook Hospital participated in a live broadcast of a heart surgery through  ScribbleLive (a real-time platform supporting videos, photos and tweets). As I watched the surgery progress live in the operating room, I was absolutely captivated. In recognition of Heart Month, cardiac and vascular surgeon Dr. Gideon Cohen, MD, and his team performed the coronary artery bypass on Lou, a Sunnybrook Hospital patient. The broadcast was motivated by the desire to educate the public about the procedure, as well as to ease the nerves of future heart patients. During the surgery, the hospital posted updates, photos and videos on  Twitter. Viewers were not only invited to watch, they could also ask questions. All in, it was a five-hour experience. (Parts of the video are now accessible on the hospital’s  YouTube page and Twitter account.) Dr. Cohen viewed the broadcast as a great opportunity to highlight the skills of Sunnybrook's cardiac surgery team. And for the public, it was a front-row seat experience of what actually happens in the operating room, all designed for a lay audience not necessarily familiar with medical terminology or procedures. Sunnybrook Hospital has since received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the live tweets—so much that they are looking into having another live event. I spoke with Brent Creelman, Senior Digital Media Strategist at Sunnybrook Hospital, about the broadcast: What prompted Sunnybrook Hospital to do a live broadcast of a heart surgery? Our biggest motivation was to give our community a unique behind-the-scenes look into an operating room, something that most people will never see, especially live. How does the broadcast impact heart disease awareness? Heart disease is second leading cause of death in Canada. While not every Canadian with heart disease will require surgery, the live tweet allowed us to help demystify what happens during heart surgery.  It will be archived, so that future patients can see Lou's surgical journey, and that's a huge perk for education and awareness. Why did Lou decide to have his surgery broadcast over social media? Lou wanted to give something back to the hospital that was going to help him, and felt that it would be a good chance to help educate other heart patients and their families about the surgery. A lot of patients and their family members have a lot of anxiety about heart surgery and this will hopefully help to ease some of that anxiety. How do interested people watch the surgery now? The entire tweet, including photos, videos and health information, will be archived indefinitely on our Twitter feed. We actually received a note from a professor at Queen's who told his medical students to watch the tweet, as well as a Biology teacher in Ontario who watched part of it with his class. Photo courtesy Flickr/CC: Dreaming in the deep south
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Sunnybrook Hospital broadcasts live heart surgery

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