[WARNING: This post contains graphic images and videos]
Yes, that is a child just pulled from the womb of its mother. And yes, it’s from Twitter.
It’s just one of the graphic images tweeted by Memorial Hermann Health System (@houstonhospital) on Wednesday when the hospital broadcast a C-section birth through social media.
Obstetrician Dr. Anne Gonzalez performed the procedure while Dr. Amelia Chu, wearing a GoPro head camera, assisted and Dr. Sherri Levin answered questions from Twitter followers using the hashtag #MHbaby. The production was unarguably not for the faint of heart and, for the followers, seemed to teeter the line between being a fascinating look into childbirth and being just too much information.
“Isn’t anything sacred anymore?” tweeted one follower.
“Such an innovative, interactive way to teach the world!” wrote another.
The hospital’s marketing staff are no strangers to paving new trails in healthcare social media – last year, the hospital did the first social media broadcast of an open heart surgery, then a few months later did the first brain surgery.
This time, Memorial Hermann’s social media manager, Natalie Camarata, estimated to the Associated Press that 72,000 people in 60 countries watched the procedure on Twitter.
“When hospitals did it several years back, the online audience wasn’t fully engaged,” she told the AP. “Now people are living Twitter, living Facebook. It’s part of their everyday life.”
But should the birth of a stranger’s child be part of their everyday life? From a marketing standpoint, it’s certainly drawing a lot of media attention to the hospital, and most of it seems to be positive. Thoughts? (See a Storify version of the live tweet here.)
[Photo from Memorial Hermann]