In a groundbreaking telemedicine development, doctors in Massachusetts earlier this month helped a physician at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station to surgically repair the damaged knee of a meteorologist spending the winter in Antarctica. Using a "telemedicine" connection operated by Raytheon Polar Services Co. (RPSC) of Centennial, Colo., orthopedic surgeon Bertram Zarins and anesthesiologist Vicki Modest, both of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, helped South Pole physician Dr. Timothy Pollard to suture a damaged tendon in the left knee of RPSC employee Dar Gibson in a two-hour operation July 5 (EDT). Gibson injured his knee in a fall.
RPSC is the National Science Foundations logistical support contractor in Antarctica.
The U.S. Antarctic Program has used two-way voice and video links between the U.S. and Antarctica to assist in medical procedures, but this is the first time in the programs nearly 50-year history that telemedicine has been used for surgery. Doctors are assigned to all three U.S.-operated, year-round stations in Antarctica but the medical facilities there are not designed for surgery.
The operations success marks a milestone in efforts to use telecommunications to improve the medical services available to those who must spend the long austral winter at one of the worlds most remote scientific stations. "The health and safety of our people comes first and Im grateful that the skills of all concerned could be combined so effectively with 21st century technology to meet this challenge," said Karl Erb, who heads NSFs Office of Polar Programs. "Our thoughts are with the patient. We wish him a speedy and complete recovery."
NSF, which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program, conducts leading-edge research at the pole in a variety of disciplines and is rebuilding the only scientific station there. Because of its location high on the Polar Plateau and at the Earths axis, Amundsen-Scott is a world-class astrophysical observatory. It also has some of the worlds cleanest air, making it a natural laboratory for studying environmental chemistry.
The 51 people spending the austral winter (February through November) at the station are unable to leave because extreme cold and darkness prevents aircraft landings. NSF officials judged an evacuation of Gibson as too risky to aircrews. Instead, a panel of physicians in the U.S. explored a variety of options for treating the injury using digital x-rays sent via the telemedicine link and a live video transmission of Gibsons knee examination.
After consulting with Drs. Zarins and Modest as well as other nationally recognized medical experts from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Johns Hopkins University, and other institutions and with RPSC officials, Gibson received a range of treatment options. He agreed to the surgery judged to be the best option for restoring the maximum mobility to the damaged knee.
Dr. Pollard carried out the operation at approximately 9 p.m. (EDT) July 5, with the help of physician assistant Tom Barale (who monitored the anesthesia) and other station personnel. Gibson is recovering and has begun physical therapy.
Peter West | EurekAlert
Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex
21.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2017 | Life Sciences
21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine