Spectrum Health opens new heart education center

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Spectrum Health has opened a new cardiac simulation and education center.

The purpose of the Jacob and Lois Mol Cardiovascular Simulation Center is to simulate realistic procedures for structural heart, heart catheter and vascular surgical interventions, MLive reported.

A simulation center sets up a practice test to train professionals.

Dr. Robert Cuff is a vascular surgeon and director of the new center. He compared the idea of a simulation center to sports in the way it takes practice and hand-eye coordination to get good at sewing up a heart or artery.

Cuff said he can take a CAT scan of a patient and make a 3-D model of it at the center. He can then practice with the model before working on an actual patient.

With this method, Cuff can see complications that could potentially arise and risk the patient’s life or health. This method can’t be done with every health problem, but Cuff said it has been used to help treat aneurysms.

The center’s amenities also include classrooms with a video system that allows surgeries to be broadcast to observers in the room. Cuff said this is beneficial for exposing large numbers of nursing personnel to surgery because a class of 20 to 50 people can see what’s going on in the operating room.

Cuff said he hopes the center will increase medical cooperation in the area and that he wants to help build collaborations with medical education programs.

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