The AGH Open Heart Surgery Observation Program: How It Began

The AGH Open Heart Surgery Observation Program: How It Began

If you or a family member are interested in learning more about the nuances of open-heart surgery or other cardiac care from an ER near you, you may be interested to first learn about the AGH Open Heart Surgery Observation Program started by Allegheny General Hospital in Pennsylvania.

The observation program was created in 2008 by Dr. George Magovern, Jr., who at the time was the system chairman of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery for Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and co-chair of AHN’s Cardiovascular Institute.

Paying it Forward for Generations to Come

As a teenager, Dr. Magovern, Jr. was able to watch his father, the late Dr. George Magovern, Sr., perform surgery — and he remembers feeling an “intangible pull” toward medicine. It’s because of that pull that he started the AGH Open Heart Surgery Observation Program – believing that if kids today had the same chance to observe surgery, they, too, might be inspired to pursue careers in health care.

A Bird’s-Eye View

The setting for the open-heart surgery observation is what anyone might expect after searching for an “observation program near me” to get involved. The observation room provides a view directly below to the operating table. There’s also a screen on the wall which shows close-up views of the procedure. This view is obtained from a camera that’s strapped to the cardiovascular surgeon’s forehead. Those who’ve been present for the observation have seen things as amazing as the cardiac team holding a patient’s heart in their hands, a new heart valve being inserted, the replacement of a coronary artery, and the actual closure of the chest cavity after the procedure.

Observation Program in Waxahachie, TX

Although there is not currently a similar open-heart surgery observation program in Waxahachie, TX, Altus Emergency Care does offer a clinical observation unit (COU), developed to continue evaluating patients who’ve come in with chest pain and require further medical observation to determine their risk of cardiac arrest. Like other clinical observation units, our Observation Program is dedicated to making sure our patients receive the correct diagnosis before treatment. This reduces not only overall costs, but also makes sure that our patients are getting the best possible care.

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