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Heart to Heart – Abington Keeps Lines to Family Open During Surgery


Today, technology is king! Video conferencing is a staple of big business; many families stay connected with apps like FaceTime; and now, a local hospital is using it to connect heart surgeons in the operating room with families and colleagues.

As a cardiothoracic surgeon, Mauricio Garrido, MD, performs heart surgery that can take between four and six hours. It can be an excruciatingly long wait for the patients’ loved ones, and it can raise their anxiety levels to great heights.

To ease that tension, Abington – Jefferson Health turned to telehealth—a high-definition webcam with video-conferencing software.

About an hour before the operation is finished, when the process is stable, Garrido connects with the nurse who’ll care for the patient after surgery. Then, he talks directly with the family. The conversation is usually just a minute, but does so much.

“The video link is excellent. It absolutely did relieve me to know that he was calm and confident, and it helped make us more calm and confident,” says Shantay Roberson, the daughter of a heart surgery patient.