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Texas doctors live stream neuro-surgical procedure

Doctors in a Texas hospital prepared a 25-year-old woman for surgery, removed a section of her skull, and then turned on Facebook Live. The Guardian reports or 45 minutes, thousands of viewers tuned in to a video stream while Jenna Schardt underwent brain surgery at Methodist Dallas Medical Centre. Awake for the procedure, Schardt spoke throughout the process, smiling and helping doctors map her brain by answering their questions.

The procedure was narrated by a spokesman for the hospital alongside its chief of neurosurgery, Dr Nimesh Patel. Patel said when Schardt was approached by the hospital about the idea, she “was eager to have us broadcast this”.

According to the report, doctors were removing a mass that had been affecting Schardt’s speech and could have caused seizures. Like many brain surgeries, the procedure was done while Schardt remained awake so surgeons could test brain function in the area surrounding the lesion they were removing, in order to avoid harming her cognitive abilities.

When removing the mass, cutting just one millimetre to the left or the right could affect her speech or other abilities, so Schardt looked at a screen shown to her by a medical technician and identified various numbers, colours, and animals to ensure she could maintain brain function throughout.

The video of Schardt’s surgery had more than 45,000 views and 1,000 comments by the time it ended. The hospital said it did not show the bloody details of the surgery because it did not think Facebook would allow it.

[link url="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/29/live-stream-brain-surgery-thousands-watch"]The Guardian report[/link]

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