With hands on hearts

Visi­tors en­joy open day at hos­pi­tal op­er­at­ing theatre

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Steve Bax steve.bax@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HARE­FIELD Hos­pi­tal treated the public to a rare look at its op­er­at­ing theatre last Thurs­day.

As part of its cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions, around 400 pa­tients, visi­tors and staff – in­clud­ing Hilling­don Mayor Ge­orge Cooper – learned about the spe­cial­ist work that goes on ev­ery day in the hos­pi­tal’s car­diac, tho­racic and trans­plant the­atres.

Spe­cial­ists were on hand to tell visi­tors about an ar­ray of fas­ci­nat­ing me­chan­i­cal de­vices and pro­ce­dures.

The mayor used med­i­cal tongs to ex­am­ine a pig’s heart and per­formed a video-as­sisted tho­ra­coscopy (a min­i­mally in­va­sive surgery) and bron­choscopy (in­sert­ing a long, flex­i­ble tube into the lung’s air­ways) on a dummy.

Other equip­ment on dis­play in­cluded ven­tric­u­lar as­sist de­vices, me­chan­i­cal pumps that are used to sup­port a fail­ing heart, of­ten while pa­tients wait for a trans­plant, and car­diopul­monary by­pass, the pump which tem­po­rar­ily takes over the work of the heart and lungs dur­ing surgery.

There were also demon­stra­tions of the Or­gan Care Sys­tem, the pi­o­neer­ing or­gan retrieval tech­nol­ogy used at Hare­field, which is one of the world’s lead­ing heart and lung trans­plant cen­tres, to keep or­gans in op­ti­mum con­di­tion be­fore they are trans­planted.

Jackie Bur­bidge, the­atres man­ager at the hos­pi­tal, said: “Hun­dreds of lives are saved at Hare­field ev­ery year thanks to the skills of our spe­cial­ist sur­gi­cal teams.

“The open day was a chance to show­case the cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies and tech­niques used at the hos­pi­tal.

“It was also heart­en­ing for us to see pa­tients again who pre­vi­ously had surgery here, as it re­minds us of how priv­i­leged we are to make a dif­fer­ence to their lives.”

Visi­tors also ob­served a sim­u­lated heart op­er­a­tion with vein har­vest­ing (when a vein from the leg is used to by­pass block­ages in the coro­nary ar­ter­ies), and were shown on a dummy how pa­tients are ven­ti­lated while un­der anaes­thetic.

Mekial Khan, 13, from Hayes, whose fa­ther Nadeem Khan works at Hare­field Hos­pi­tal, was among the visi­tors.

He said: “I re­ally en­joyed the open day - es­pe­cially get­ting to touch and dis­sect the heart and lungs! When I am older I would like to work in medicine and af­ter to­day, I think I’d like to be a heart sur­geon.

“The tech­nol­ogy we saw was re­ally cool and all the doc­tors and nurses ex­plained ev­ery­thing very well.”

n HANDS ON: Sib­lings Gi­bra­ial, Mekial and Laiba Khan (right) look at pig lungs with Sophia Wang, theatre prac­ti­tioner n PIECE OF THEATRE: The Mayor try­ing his hand at video-as­sisted tho­ra­coscopy n IN­SIGHT:IN­SIG The Mayor with 25-year-old Ge­orgina Comp­ton and her mother Anne. Ge­orgina has cys­tic fi­bro­sis and re­cently had a dou­ble-lung trans­plant at Hare­field

n AIR WAY: Gi­bra­ial Khan (left), Laiba Khan and Farhaj Hus­sain watch on as Philip Dea­con, anaes­thetic prac­ti­tioner, demon­strates to Mekial Khan how to ven­ti­late a pa­tient un­der anaes­the­sia

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