Posted on: November 21, 2019 Posted by: Zuzanna Fudala Comments: 0

Zuzanna Fudala

Features Editor

The world of medicine is filled with dedicated people and with years of knowledge that has flourished for centuries, providing the world with tremendous progress in medicine, surgery, and medical practices. 

“Live from the Heart” was an interactive event broadcast of an open heart surgery. Students and staff were able to attend for free to learn about heart health as well as different medical careers, and interact with the surgical team. The event was organized by Assistant Dean of Career Programs, Dr. Loshay Willis, and presented by Advocate Christ Medical Center and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

The open heart procedure was of an aortic aneurysm. An aortic aneurysm is a weakened and bulging area in the aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart and into the body. A rupture in the aorta, such as an aneurysm, can be life threatening. In order to repair the aorta, surgeons must remove the damaged section and replace it with a synthetic woven-like tube known as a graft, that is sewn in place. The graft can last forever and functions the same as the actual aorta.

The patient was a 71 year old woman who had an aneurysm of about 6 cm, which is three times the normal size and poses a greater danger than performing surgery to remove it. The aorta, about the thickness of a garden hose, was withered down and stretched out. During the surgery, the audience was able to see the different tools used such as a sternal saw, a patient monitor, and heart and lung machine, which temporarily takes over the function of the heart and lungs through a technique called Cardiopulmonary Bypass.

Aside from the tools and machines used, the audience was also able to learn about the different careers that play a role in the surgery. Some careers include Scrub Nurse, who helps the surgeon during the procedure as well as sets up instruments and prepares patients for the recovery room. Anesthesiologists administer anesthetics and sedatives to ensure that the patient does not feel pain and is unconscious during the surgery. A Cardiovascular Surgeon operates on the heart and blood vessels. The Circulating Nurse monitors the patient’s status during surgery and monitors the surgery’s progression. A Perfusionist operates the heart and lung machine.

The event was spectacular and very informational, not just for those already pursuing a career in medicine, but for those still undecided about their majors. As someone who is still undecided but considering a career in medicine, “Live from the Heart” sparked my interest in medicine and biology. The event may be offered annually, and if it is, I highly recommend anyone and everyone who is even remotely interested to attend.

 Whether you’re pursuing a career in medicine or undecided, or even if you think seeing an open heart surgery live is interesting, then this is an event that is a definite must see. Learning about the different careers and tools used, about heart health, and seeing a surgery live is a spectacular and educational event that comes with high recommendation.

Zuzana Fudala can be contacted at fudalaz@student.morainevalley.edu.