Doctors take part in cardiac training - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Doctors take part in cardiac training

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September 21, 2004

Valdosta - More than 100 thousand Americans are diagnosed with congestive heart failure each year. Doctors at South Georgia Medical Center are getting hands-on training this week to help treat those patients.

The sound of a heart beat is music to Dr. Terry Tri's ears, and now, he has a new tool to help keep that sound going. "It's a valuable tool in teaching individuals techniques without the risks of working on a patient first," said Dr. Tri.

Its almost identical to the setup in an operating room. "The equipment is definitely real, the techniques we utilize are the same," said Dr. Tri.

But the patients aren't real.  They're part of a Medtronics Cardiac Simulator. "Its a lot like a flight simulator for someone who learns to fly a 747 before getting in the cockpit," said Tri.

Cardiologists can practice procedures like catheterizations, angioplasty, and inserting pacemakers. And they can change the level of difficulty. "They can get comfortable with how the catheters work, how they can manipulate them," said Jim Pospyhalla.

In the past, doctors had to travel to larger cities like Atlanta and Tallahassee for such training. Now, this mobile trailer comes to them, giving them a lot more practice in a lot less time. "Here I can do 15 to 20 procedures in a matter of an hour," said Dr. Tri.

"Bottom line, its an efficient, effective, and safe way to bring out new technology and train physicians," said Pospyhalla.

Its a way to sharpen their skills in a more comfortable setting, so next time a critical situation arises, these doctors will be ahead of the game.

posted at 4:20 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com