Thanks to information and communication technology we are able to witness surgical operations  live. The so-called ‘live cases’ provide a valuable tool in the education and training of medical professionals. Medical conferences often feature live video connections with the operating room, which are sometimes watched simultaneously by thousands of colleagues all over the world. The well-established procedures for live cases, paired with the common availability of video and transmission technology, now also gives the general public a peek into a world hitherto closed to outsiders.
 
Erasmus MC University Medical Center has developed a format for live surgical cases broadcast to the general public. In 2007, a lay audience of two hundred people followed a live broadcast of an ‘awake brain surgery’ case. During this surgical procedure the patient is awake to prevent the loss of brain functions. Researchers and physicians gave commentary and background information in the auditorium. The event was greatly appreciated by both the audience and the patient and her family, who were present at the event.
 
In 2008, a lay audience gathered to witness a ‘living donor kidney transplantation’. During the morning session, one kidney was removed from a healthy donor using laparoscopic surgery; in the afternoon, the kidney was transplanted into the recipient patient. Due to building activities in the university medical center during the years 2009 and 2010 ‘the clinical lessons’ were moved to a cinema, thus bringing communication of science and technology to the centre of popular culture. This moving of the event generated even more media attention than in the years before.
 
The idea behind this format is to help bridge the gap of understanding between medical science and practice on the one hand, and the public on the other, using these live demonstrations of operations. Placed within a context of scientific and medical information, the events serve as a medium for focusing on the interaction between health, disease, science and education in the medical field. The relatively long surgery procedures allow for the opportunity to highlight the various professions and roles of the team, the technology in the operating room and social aspects of the lives of the patient and the professionals involved. The initiative has been followed up in The Netherlands and beyond by university medical centres, hospitals and television stations.
">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The clinical lessons, experiences with public live surgery cases in the Netherlands

Fred Balvert   Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam

Thanks to information and communication technology we are able to witness surgical operations  live. The so-called ‘live cases’ provide a valuable tool in the education and training of medical professionals. Medical conferences often feature live video connections with the operating room, which are sometimes watched simultaneously by thousands of colleagues all over the world. The well-established procedures for live cases, paired with the common availability of video and transmission technology, now also gives the general public a peek into a world hitherto closed to outsiders.
 
Erasmus MC University Medical Center has developed a format for live surgical cases broadcast to the general public. In 2007, a lay audience of two hundred people followed a live broadcast of an ‘awake brain surgery’ case. During this surgical procedure the patient is awake to prevent the loss of brain functions. Researchers and physicians gave commentary and background information in the auditorium. The event was greatly appreciated by both the audience and the patient and her family, who were present at the event.
 
In 2008, a lay audience gathered to witness a ‘living donor kidney transplantation’. During the morning session, one kidney was removed from a healthy donor using laparoscopic surgery; in the afternoon, the kidney was transplanted into the recipient patient. Due to building activities in the university medical center during the years 2009 and 2010 ‘the clinical lessons’ were moved to a cinema, thus bringing communication of science and technology to the centre of popular culture. This moving of the event generated even more media attention than in the years before.
 
The idea behind this format is to help bridge the gap of understanding between medical science and practice on the one hand, and the public on the other, using these live demonstrations of operations. Placed within a context of scientific and medical information, the events serve as a medium for focusing on the interaction between health, disease, science and education in the medical field. The relatively long surgery procedures allow for the opportunity to highlight the various professions and roles of the team, the technology in the operating room and social aspects of the lives of the patient and the professionals involved. The initiative has been followed up in The Netherlands and beyond by university medical centres, hospitals and television stations.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

BACK TO TOP