Friday, September 30, 2011

Capt. “Sully” visits the MGH

Gordon, Sullenberger and Alex Derevianko,
MD, MA, surgical simulation specialist and

CAPT. C.B. "SULLY" SULLENBERGER – famous for his water landing of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in 2009 – made a brief landing in Boston Sept. 23 to learn about local approaches to patient safety. During his visit, which was coordinated by Jeffrey B. Cooper, PhD, executive director of the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) in Cambridge, Sullenberger stopped by a CMS course for Harvard Medical School anesthesia faculty and then visited the MGH Learning Laboratory with Director James A. Gordon, MD, MPA.

“Capt. Sullenberger is a national icon for managing a crisis situation successfully,” says Cooper, who also is a biomedical engineer in the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine. “We were delighted to have him visit both the CMS and MGH.”

At the MGH Learning Laboratory, Sullenberger had the chance to place a central line under ultrasound guidance and intubate a simulated patient using video laryngoscopy. He also participated in a discussion about safety and simulation with members of the Learning Lab. Sullenberger stressed the importance of training in teamwork and crew resource management skills. He said those aspects made the difference in the Hudson landing and can prevent crises in other situations, including ones in health care.

“As we at MGH strive to demonstrate how the traditional culture of medicine can embrace and operationalize routine simulation and training to enhance patient safety, individuals like Capt. Sullenberger can provide invaluable guidance and counsel,” says Gordon.

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