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Webcast Your Brain Surgery? Hospitals See Marketing Tool


Wow, do I have mixed feelings about this:

The point of Shila Renee Mullins's brain surgery was to remove a [/url]malignant tumor threatening to paralyze her left side.

But Methodist University Hospital in Memphis also saw an opportunity to promote the hospital to prospective patients.

So, a video webcast of Ms. Mullins's awake craniotomy, in which the patient remains conscious and talking while surgeons prod and cut inside her brain, was promoted with infomercials and newspaper advertisements featuring a photograph of a beautiful model, not Ms. Mullins.

This time, Methodist did not use billboards as it has with other operations, deeming this procedure too sensitive. But its marketing department monitors how many people have watched the Webcast (2,212), seen a preview on YouTube (21,555) and requested appointments (3).

Full article at:


I know hospitals have been using webcasts for some time now, but some of these tactics seem to be pushing the envelope. And how much pressure do patients feel to consent to the video webcast when the doctor they trust asks them if it's OK to broadcast the video?

I'll be interested in reading others' thoughts.

Multicollinearity, BSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Psych, DNP Student. Has 4 years experience.

I find it undignified. Further, I think there should be zero "twittering" from an OR.


Then, “some bleeding needed to be controlled,” but “we just tweeted right through it,” Mr. Ferris said. Other Twitter-casts included a hysterectomy and a craniotomy, during which the hospital posted video on YouTube and photos, and the surgeon would “literally scrub out for an hour and twitter.” Hospitals say patients give consent and are not compensated.

Edited by Multicollinearity

Ginger's Mom, MSN, RN

Has 41 years experience.

I think with the patient's permission it is an opportunity for learning. If you are not a medical professional it would be boring to watch.

I find it undignified. Further, I think there should be zero "twittering" from an OR.

I agree about the twittering. My first response on reading that was "what the hey?".

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

I think that as long as the patient is fully aware of and agrees to what will be done with the videos and and twittering then I would say its fine. Especially if by watching these videos a future surgeon or nurse anesthetist who may have to work on me someday is able to learn something from them.

!Chris :specs:

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