// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
It took an Olympic swimmer to raise public awareness of pectus excavatum. Cody Miller won a bronze medal in the men’s 100 meter breaststroke in the Rio games, and then followed up with a gold medal in the men’s 4 x 100 meter relay. It was a triumph that went beyond the swimming pool, and beyond sport. Miller was born with pectus excavatum, a chest wall deformity characterized by a caved-in appearance.
The condition can cause compression of the heart and lungs. “Doctors have said my maximum breathing capacity is likely reduced by 12-20 percent,” Miller said in a post on Imgur last summer.
Pectus excavatum can be corrected through a surgical procedure, known as the Nuss procedure. Jackie Hurley is Surgical Coordinator for the Pectus Program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where the Nuss procedure has been performed more than 700 times. “In the recovery room, the first thing many of my patients say is ‘Oh my gosh, I can breathe!’” says Hurley.
When a high-profile event like the Olympics hands you an ideal opportunity to educate families and showcase your health system’s capabilities in a unique and original way, you jump on it. Jared Johnson is Digital Marketing Manager at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “We were looking for the right program, the right procedure that would make sense to do something new,” says Johnson.
He had a willing collaborator in Hurley. “She is very supportive of using social media to spread the word about the program,” says Johnson. The two proposed a live broadcast of the Nuss procedure using Periscope, and the organization gave them a green light.
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Being first is never easy. In the article that follows, the team at Phoenix Children’s shares its experience using Periscope, how the online audience responded, and what the team would do differently next time. Please log in.
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