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Google Glass In The OR: Not Ready For Prime Time

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 10:08am
Skeptical Scalpel

The Royal London Hospital and the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry presented the first live-streamed surgical procedure in the UK. The operation was an extended right hemicolectomy with resection of a metastatic liver lesion.

I was able to view the entire broadcast portion of the surgery live, and you can see it if you click here and open the video called "The UK's first live-streamed surgical procedure."

Here is what I thought about the event.

The case started about 30 minutes late, which is similar to what would have happened in any operating room in the United States with a case scheduled for 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

I noticed some curious things. Many of the staff, including the anesthesiologist, weren't wearing masks in the operating room. There is no Joint Commission in the UK.

When the surgeon changed his glove, he opened the inner portion of the package with his bare hand, and the scrub nurse then touched the same area with her gloved hand.

The surgeon did not know what the patient's preoperative hemoglobin level was and had to ask the anesthesiologist.

The colon procedure was done in under an hour which was impressive considering the patient was somewhat obese, but I thought the surgeon hurried a bit. He could have been more careful. For example, he applied staplers without seeming to double check their position.

In a previous post, I listed many reasons why I felt live broadcast surgery was a bad idea.

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