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Hospital Uses Twitter and Other Social Media to Report Brain Surgery

Houston’s Memorial Hermann hospital is going to live tweet on Wednesday a brain operation performed by one of the world’s foremost neurosurgeons. The live event, featuring tweeting and delayed photos and video footage of the procedure, will look in as renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Dong Kim removes a benign brain tumor from a 21-year-old woman who recently began suffering seizures, according to Chron.com.

Mashable reports:
“Live social media coverage from the hospital’s in-house team will begin Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. EST. The hospital’s Twitter page, @houstonhospital, will relay the operation’s preparation, play-by-play and wrap up over the next four hours while using the hashtag #MHbrain. The first actual incision is scheduled for 10 a.m. EST.”
Social media to demistify
Dr. Dong Kim said:
“Social media is a powerful vehicle to help demystify brain surgery, a source of much fascination to people. We think that by providing this up-close glimpse of the OR, we can educate the public, particularly future patients, about what happens during brain surgery, about what to expect.”
Kim further elaborates:
“What will come out of this is a detailed, real-time sequence of what happens in a brain surgery through all the stages from preparation, to shaving the hair, to making the incision, to draping. People are very anxious and want to know what goes on in a brain surgery like this.”
February’s open-heart surgery
The Memorial Hermann did report via social media before, the first open-heart surgery on Twitter, drew 5,000 live-time viewers. Eventually, more than 100 million people in 50 countries visited the website after the fact or read about the event from coverage in the national media, according to Memorial Hermann tracking.
Dutch example – Philips Electronics and the Catharina Hospital
Dutch heart patient Ad Langendonk and his cardiologist, Dr Lukas Dekker, used Twitter before, during and after a minimally-invasive intervention during which catheters were used to remedy Mr. Langendonk’s heart rhythm disorder. The intervention was successfully performed on January 27, allowing Mr. Langendonk to begin the process of regaining his quality of life.