Canadian Surgeons Perform Heart Surgery, Display Live Tweets With Videos

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | February 21, 2014 6:26 PM EST

A Canadian hospital created history when it displayed live tweets with videos of an on-going heart surgery on Thursday, Feb 20. It was their way of educating the people of the country more about heart problems.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto started performing a bypass operation at 8 o'clock in the morning (Eastern Time). It was the same time when they started posting real-time tweets of the surgery in their Twitter account. It provided surgery details of "Lou", the 57-year-old heart patient whom the doctors were performing the operation on.

CTV News reported that the surgery took over five hours to be completed. The procedure was explained in simplified language with relevant video to make sure that a common man could understand the details. The social media editor of the hospital kept curious followers updated about how the operation was taking place, while a photographer took photos as well as videos.

The videos showed the throbbing heart of Lou inside his chest. Some of the other photographs how the radial artery was taken out of his arm so that it could be used to create the "bypass" around the damaged arteries in the heart. The tweets also explained how Lou's blood was kept oxygenated through a perfusion machine, while surgeons had to stop his heart to attach new arteries. Interestingly, it was observed that surgeons preferred listening to classic rock music while working.

The decision to post real-time tweets was a deliberate attempt to educate the public regarding heart diseases, hospital authorities said. February happens to be the Heart Health Month, and the hospital chose the occasion perfectly well. Dr Gideon Cohen was the one who led the operation. He said that tweeting with real-time updates seemed to be a unique idea of explaining to the public about heart surgery. Mr Cohen told CTV Toronto that it was important to have the public informed about the process.

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