Medical society hosts simulation training to help reduce medical complications

Training addresses cardiovascular disease, a leading killer of American men and women

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) will provide physicians a unique opportunity to practice the latest procedures for treating cardiovascular disease in a risk-free environment. During its 29th Annual Scientific Sessions, May 10–13, SCAI will host the Boston Scientific Mobile SimSuite® Simulation Training Unit, a state-of-the-art replication of a cardiac catheterization lab equipped with realistic simulation technology. This hands-on training facility allows physicians to practice new procedures or use new technologies in a realistic, yet safe and risk-free, environment before treating actual patients.

The Boston Scientific Mobile SimSuite® Training Unit is a 35-foot bus, complete with a pre-procedure patient briefing area, an area for performing interventions on a simulated patient named Simantha®, and a post-procedure computer station for providing the operator feedback on his or her decisions in the case.

Physicians can perform simulated interventions with lesions in the coronary arteries that are considered "high risk" and are difficult to treat because of their type, location, or size. Historically, these cases required bypass surgery; however, break-through technologies now increase the likelihood of successfully treating these difficult cases with less invasive procedures.

"Simulation training not only gives physicians a unique opportunity to learn new approaches to challenging cases, but it also allows us to hone our skills and techniques," said Mark Turco, MD, FSCAI, an active SCAI member and faculty for Boston Scientific's high-risk coronary simulation training program. "SCAI is pleased to welcome Boston Scientific to the meeting and to enable our attendees to have hands-on training in the latest treatment methods alongside the more traditional continuing medical education provided at the meeting."

Approximately 1,000 interventional cardiologists are expected to attend this year's Annual Scientific Sessions, a four-day educational event highlighting the latest advances in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Interventional cardiologists specialize in percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) -- procedures for diagnosing and treating potentially clogged arteries. By threading a slender tube, or catheter, into the blood vessels, interventional cardiologists can identify and often treat lesions, or blockages, that are reducing blood flow and can lead to heart attack or stroke.

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Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions is a 3,400-member professional organization representing invasive and interventional cardiologists. SCAI's mission is to promote excellence in invasive and interventional cardiovascular medicine through physician education and representation, and advancement of quality standards to enhance patient care. SCAI was organized in 1976 under the guidance of Drs. F. Mason Sones and Melvin P. Judkins. The first SCAI Annual Scientific Sessions were held in Chicago in 1978.


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