March 8, 2019
The Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) team, including attendings, fellows, surgeons and nurses, turned out to practice their response to a cardiac arrest in post-operative heart surgery patients at an event held in the Skills Acquisition and Innovation Laboratory (SAIL) on February 16.
SAIL is a teaching and research laboratory that utilizes simulation technology to train healthcare professionals. The lab is administered jointly by the Departments of Anesthesiology, Surgery and Radiology at Weill Cornell Medicine.
The simulation focused on heart surgery patients in the immediate postoperative period who experience a cardiac arrest. This event led to the surgery team re-opening the chest at the patient's bedside in the cardiothoracic care unit. The patients were represented by SAIL's state-of-the-art, lifelike manikins.
The simulation included a didactic learning session to review guidelines for managing such a scenario, and a debriefing that covered team dynamics and performance. It was led by Department of Anesthesiology physicians Drs. Meghann Fitzgerald, Natalia Ivascu, Lori Rubin and Liang Shen along with SAIL staff members Jay Rosenberg and Iskander Bagautdinov. Dr. Karl Krieger, professor of cardiothoracic surgery, also participated along with cardiothoracic surgical fellows.
Dr. Shen, an assistant professor of clinical anesthesiology, enjoyed facilitating discussions among practitioners from different specialties. "Each specialty provides a slightly different perspective on the scenario," he said. "The interactions help everyone gain better appreciation of the complexity and the interconnectedness of the team during these high-intensity situations."