UK hospitals are turning to simulation and the virtual world to train healthcare professionals in medical procedures
In a small operating theatre underneath University College London hospital, a team of cardiologists are in a race against time. They’re performing an angioplasty, a delicate and dextrous procedure where tiny wires are inserted into the heart to widen coronary arteries narrowed by plaque buildup. Things have gone badly wrong.
One of the wires has perforated the artery walls, causing a rapid leakage of blood. With fluid building up around the heart, the team must act quickly. A microscopic balloon has to be blown up inside the artery to stop further blood loss, before a drain is inserted through a tiny keyhole incision to remove the excess. This has to be done in less than five minutes to prevent the patient going into cardiac arrest.