Watch a patient's heart beating on the operating table
With the consent of a patient known only as "Lou", Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital live tweeted a coronary artery bypass graft yesterday. The surgery increases blood supply to the heart by taking arteries and veins from an arm or some other part of the body and cut-pasting them into the network of blood vessels surrounding the heart. The goal: Prevent a heart attack by bypassing plaque-clogged vessels that are constricting blood flow to the heart.
The video above shows Lou's heart beating, before surgeons hooked him up to a heart-lung machine and temporarily stopped his heart. The live tweet is filled with videos like this, as well as photos and some interesting information about what happens during open-heart surgery. In that respect, live-tweeting the surgery seems like a great idea, a real boon for medical awareness. But in a CBC story, medical ethicists questioned the event. For one thing, what would have happened if Lou died on the operating table? Another big concern: Even though the surgeons, themselves, aren't doing the tweeting, it's difficult to claim that they wouldn't be affected at all. How does being live-tweeted about change the way you do your work?