Transcontinental Anesthesia

Just two weeks after medgadget reported on teleanaesthesia in the form of remotely performed nerve blocks, the first report of transcontinental anaesthesia comes in. On August 30, anaesthesiologists of McGill-McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, kept watch over a patient in Pisa, Italy undergoing thyroid gland surgery. Basically they used a teleconferencing set-up with four cameras, with two cameras streaming the anaesthesia data (ventilation parameters and vital signs), one camera aimed at the operating field and the last one for any special purposes. All feeds were streamed to an “anaesthesia cockpit” where the anaesthesiologists were sitting, while we imagine there was probably still a nurse anaesthetist around in Pisa to obey their commands and control the drips. Airway assessment and taking the medical history was also done using video conferencing. For their next step, the researchers are taking on a less technologically challenging issue: they will use teleconferencing for preoperative assessment of patients at their home.

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