Sight And Sound, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-10


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SIGHT AND SOUND By Leo Mishkin NEW YORK May 9 One of the most dramatic programs to have been put on the air this season was staged on WABD the other night The drama lay in the fact that nobody not even those who were actively tak ¬ ing part knew how it would come out al ¬ though as a matter of fact they were about 99 per cent certain plus the added cir ¬ cumstance that it took place live at the very moment you were watching and that you were caught up in the tension and strain and excitement of the proceeding even against your own will The drama was a surgical operation performed on the heart of a small ChineseAmerican girl The set ¬ ting was the operating room of the N Y U Bellevue Hospital Medical Center And in addition to the child who was the focus of attention the cast included the operating surgeon Dr Jere Lord the assistants anaesthesiologists and nurses who helped him and a team of eminent physicians and surgeons sitting off in another room with John Wingate who observed the operation on monitoring screens and provided a run ¬ ning commentary and explanation of just what was taking place The presentation was staged by WABD in cooperation with the New York Heart Fund Association AssociationA A A A ATelevision Television has long been used of course in the practice and teaching of medicine and surgery on a more or less closed cir ¬ cuit basis beamed primarily at medical stu ¬ dents internes and others concerned with learning the profession Once in a while as in The March of Medicine series or per ¬ haps that fictionalized thing called Med ¬ ic or in one or another documentary re ¬ port to the public on matters of public health and welfare the general audience also gets a look at some of the practices and procedures that take place Many years ago when TV was first coming in I recall seeing an experimental venture to show the potentialities of the medium A patient in Johns Hopkins down in Balti ¬ more was being fluoroscope by an exam ¬ ining physican The fluoroscope image was intensified a thousandfold by electronic methods and the resultant picture was put on the screen of a TV receiving set The examining doctor another specialist in Chicago and a third specialist in New York all watched this picture on the TV screen and conferring by phone arrived at a joint diagnosis of the patients ail ¬ ment and jointly recommended the proper therapy Many similar occurrances have taken place since but this surgical operation the other night was one of the most fascinat ¬ ing and one of the most breathtaking of them all The TV cameras placed just above the head of the operating surgeon himself gave you a closeup view of the area in which the operation was taking place the attending physicians and Dr Lord also with a lapel microphone at ¬ tached to his surgical gown explained what he was doing at almost every minute and as you watched T3r Lord closed off a faulty valve in that small childs heart sutured up one layer of tissue on top of another and finally pronounced the opera ¬ tion over It gave this observer goose pim ¬ ples to see that small child a few moments later sitting up on the operating table and waving feebly at the TV audience audienceA A A A AAs As a public service documentary this WABD presentation was of inestimable Continued on Page FiftySeven I SIGHT AND SOUND I II I By LEO MISHKIN I Continued from Page Two Twovalue value There must be thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of people suffering with ailments requiring surgical attention who still jetain a traditional fear of the surgeons knife and scalpel The calm con ¬ centration with which Dr Lord and his as ¬ sistants went through this heart operation the teamwork and efficiency and prepara ¬ tion against any possible danger that pro ¬ vided such a protective field and above all the sure knowledge and deftness with which everybody performed their assigned tasks musirhave been aspurce of high hope and encouragement for anybody still afraid to enter a hospital After the program was over indeed other former patients who had also had surgery performed on their own hearts were interviewed on the air by Mr Wingate by Arlene Francis and Jane Pickens as examples of how far and how successfully this branch of surgery has come in the past 10 years yearsA A A A ABut But even for those with no physical com plant whatever even for those glowing with health and vitality even for those who have no idea in the world of coming down with any ailment this WABD presentation I refuse to call it by the more customary name of a show was a gripping and stimulating experience One of the doctors think mentioned that 10 years ago such an operation could not have been per ¬ formed at all Television 10 years ago could not have shown it even if it were performed Just goes to show you how far science and technology hae come in both fields over the space of that single decade

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