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Collaboration Is Key In Children's Hybrid Operating Room

Ann Thompson
A huge imaging machine is the heart of the hybrid operating room, combining surgery and interventional radiology in one room.

In a first-of-its kind for pediatric medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and Philips Healthcare have teamed to create a hybrid operating room to increase patient safety, decrease anesthesia time, and improve patient flow.

Previously pediatric patients may have had to made several stops while under anesthesia, including interventional radiology and surgery.  All the procedures, including ultrasound, CT guidance and floroscopy (live x-ray) will now take place in one place reducing the risk of complications, and saving time and money.

A giant imaging machine is at the centerpiece of the hybrid operating room where surgeons and interventional radiologists will work together.

"This is the future and I would say here at Cincinnati Children's, the team is quite far ahead of where other people are. It's not normal for these specialists to work together this intimately," according to Philips Senior Vice President of Image Guided Therapy Ronald Tabaksblat.

Philips has been working with Children's for fifteen years. "Technology that we develop here with Cincinnati Children's ends up all over the world." A great example of that is when physicists from Philips and Children's worked to decrease x-ray dosage when looking at blood vessels by 96 percent.

Children's Dr. John Racadio, is the Director of Interventional Radiology Translational Research and Simulation Lab, and worked on that project to reduce radiation.

The lab tests technology that could end up in the hybrid operating room pending FDA approval

In the lab, Racadio is testing augmented reality where 3D imaging will be superimposed on the patient, providing doctors a view of the inside and outside of the patient during surgery. The FDA is expected to approve this technology later this year.

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
WVXU's Ann Thompson gets instruction from Dr. John Racadio on how to operate using augmented reality to see the inside and outside of the patient.
WVXU's Ann Thompson tried out the augmented reality by simulating a spine surgery in Children's technology lab with the help of Dr. John Racadio.

Racadio says virtual reality may be further down the road. "So imagine looking at the patient through some glasses. Not only do you see the patient on the outside but actually you are able to bring in the MRI, or a CAT scan of that patient and virtually see it through the patient during surgery."

After FDA approval, the techniques tested in the lab will be used in the new hybrid operating room.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.