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A First: Dallas Operating Room Uses Twitter

By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX – A successful kidney transplant for a three year old boy at Children's Medical Center in Dallas today added "Twitter" to the surgical team. Officials say it was a "first" for a U.S. hospital.

Dr. Mouin Seikaly, head of the transplant program, says family members usually get updates via telephone every half hour or so. With Twitter, it was constant updating by a designated "tweeter" in the O-R.

Seikaly: Now, they're getting it real time, which makes a difference. It takes and anxiety and the anticipation out of it as much as you could; or minimizes it to say the least.

Dr. Seikaly says the Twitter social-networking-message-system was a hit with the boy's family.

He says he'd like to see it happen again. But, he does have concerns about its use when problems may arise during surgery. The doctor says he's not sure it would relieve anxiety in that case.

Email BJ Austin