As America discusses health care reform, one of the broader (albeit debatable) complaints is that we've become disconnected from our own bodies — whether by norms that urge us to leave thinking about treatment to authorities or by not having to deal with the full messiness of things like childbirth. For the past year, Houston-based hospital Memorial Hermann has tried to combat this by providing live access to some of the most common surgical operations. On February 20th, a surgeon, assistant, and OB/GYN team worked together to live-tweet a Cesarean section.
The Twitter stream was posted with the permission of the family, showing the preparation and aftermath of the surgery as well as the C-section itself. In a statement given to Mashable, the hospital said it wanted to "pull back the curtain on the most common surgery that many women need to have in order to deliver their baby." Previously, Memorial Hermann has documented both brain surgery and open-heart surgery in live-tweeting sessions.
"People don't just show up to the hospital and ask for treatment these days."
As a quick YouTube search will reveal, there's no shortage of online C-section footage. But the general idea is to provide informed but accessible context around the surgery. "People don't just show up to the hospital and ask for treatment these days," CEO Gary Kerr has said in a previous interview about the tweets. "They want to ask a lot of questions and know more about what's happening with their bodies. This medium starts to address that." A Storified series of tweets can be found courtesy of the hospital, though be warned that there's about as much blood as one should expect from a surgery.