Two million patients undergo cardiac surgery worldwide each year. To perform these invasive and high-risk procedures cardiothoracic surgeons need to be adequately trained. There are 2 specific situations in cardiothoracic surgery for which no preparatory training is available and in which technical skills, effective communication and adequate performance under stress are crucial to save patients’ lives: cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after heart surgery and connecting/ troubleshooting of ExtraCorporeal Circulation (ECC).
We aim to develop a Virtual Reality (VR)-based skills training to realistically simulate these complex situations. This will provide trainees with an efficient, effective and safer way to develop their skills and provide a solid base for trainers on how to teach and assess their novices.
This project will be carried out by an international consortium with colleagues from Vienna, Barcelona and North Macedonia. We also work closely with technical medicine students from TU Delft.
This project will ultimately improve the quality and safety of patient care as the future CTS surgeons will be better prepared with the necessary skills to act appropriately and under pressure, improvement of the surgical as well as communicative skills will lead to less patient complications and more patient survival.