Friday, February 22, 2008

Gamer hero saves nephew's life by donating his liver

Aiden Diederich suffered an acute liver failure last fall just days after his first birthday. He was rushed to the hospital, but the doctor's couldn't do anything to help him. He needed a liver transplant.

His uncle, a long time gamer and a member of Seasoned Gamers, an online community of adult gamers, stepped in after the risks involved with a liver transplant surgery ruled out Aiden's immediate family. Jeff Shoemaker donated 20% of his liver to Aiden.

Now 6 months after the surgery both Aiden and Jeff are doing well, though Jeff will need annual visits to the doctor for the rest of his life and Aiden's immune system is still weakened.

Heroes don't just exist in video games like City of Heroes. Sometimes they play video games, too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Custom Xbox 360 gives patients better information about their hospital stay

Spectrum Health, Microsoft and Cerner Corp have collaborated on developing a custom Xbox 360 video game console called Cerner Care Console.

The care console allows patients to access a whole wealth of information about their condition and care during their hospital stays thus becoming more involved in the care experience.

Video game trains a good samaritan to administer first aid

Paxton Galvanek, a 28-year-old gamer from North Carolina, witnesses a serious car accident last November. An SUV driving on a highway in the other direction flipped over several times and started smoking as if burning.

Mr. Galvanek stopped his car and ran to the overturned SUV, quickly pulled one of the passengers out and escorted him to a safe location. He then went back to the SUV and pulled the driver out of the car. He quickly assessed the extent of the driver's injuries and treated them appropriately. He waited with the injured passengers until a medically trained army soldier stopped at the accident, left the injured men in his care and carried on with his journey.

It turns out Mr. Galvanek had had no formal medical training prior to stopping at the accident site. Instead he had learned his first aid skills from playing America's Army, a first-person shooter video game produced by The United States Army.

In the game the players can play the past of a combat medic, but only after they go through a virtual medical training class. It is this virtual training that Mr. Galvanek thanks for his first aid skills.

After the accident he wrote to the America's Army team to thank them:

I have received no prior medical training and can honestly say that because of the training and presentations within America's Army, I was able to help and possibly save the injured men. As I look back on the events of that day, the training that I received in the America's Army video game keeps coming to mind.

I remember vividly in section four of the game’s medic training, during the field medic scenarios, I had to evaluate the situation and place priority on the more critically wounded. In the case of this accident, I evaluated the situation and placed priority on the driver of the car who had missing fingers. I then recalled that in section two of the medic training, I learned about controlled bleeding. I noticed that the wounded man had severe bleeding that he could not control. I used a towel as a dressing and asked the man to hold the towel on his wound and to raise his hand above his head to lessen the blood flow which allowed me to evaluate his other injuries which included a cut on his head.

Well done Paxton!

Sony Computer Entertainment America donates to Children Hospital of New Orleans

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has donated 8 new video game systems, two HD TVs and two TV stands to Children Hospital of New Orleans.

The video games and TVs are placed in the hospital's teen room, which is a safe place taking the kids out of the usual hospital environment to socialize and have fun with other kids being treated in the hospital