SEVEN forced to dump OPERATION LIVE TV Special due to concerns from medical experts

Dr Nikki Stamp FRACS
image - Seven

SEVEN has been forced to shelve plans for one of its heavily hyped medical specials OPERATION LIVE after serious concerns were raised by medical professionals.

OPERATION LIVE had been scheduled to air over the next two Sundays, with a caesarean section birth planned for this weekend, and open-heart surgery planned for next Sunday night.

The New Daily reports SEVEN has made the decision to indefinitely postpone the controversial heart-surgery episode after the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons expressed concerns to the network. the organisation stating that the practices of surgery are “beyond the understanding of a TV producer” and should not be used for “tantalising” viewers

“In live surgery for education, things have gone wrong … and go wrong very quickly, particularly in heart surgery. I have heard of a case of somebody dying and, if that happened, there would be terrible consequences. It might have nothing to do with the surgeon but that’s what can happen,” Mr Batten told The New Daily

“Live surgery has a place in fellows’ education because they have the knowledge and the understanding whereas the public don’t.”

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph he added;

“One wonders what we’re achieving by live broadcasting compared with pre-recorded and edited, particularly if that pressure of live recording has any effect on the surgeon and their focus on the patient and the task before them.”

The postponing of the heart surgery episode will leave a significant hole in SEVEN’s schedule, the network had planned to promote the live event heavily during its Sunday afternoon coverage of the Big Bash Final.

Confirming the delay, spokesperson for SEVEN stated the safety of patients;

“comes before any consideration of the television audience”.

The broadcast of the caesarean birth will go ahead as planned this Sunday. SEVEN will have back-up footage of a different birth, should anything occur to delay the live caesarean planned for 9pm AEDT.

OPERATION: LIVE will feature expert commentary from Australian trained cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Nikki Stamp FRACS. Dr Stamp will explain the stages of the operation as they happen, working with the surgeon performing the operation.

One of only 11 female cardiothoracic surgeons in Australia and a leading advocate for heart health, Dr Stamp’s research has been published in numerous leading medical journals including the ANZ Journal of Surgery and the British Medical Journal.  She also teaches medical students and surgical trainees

When OPERATION LIVE was announced last year, Seven’s Director of Programming, Angus Ross, said the specials would demystify exactly what unfolds during surgery and underline the brilliant work that takes place in our hospitals.

“This event will give audiences a front row seat to a fascinating world that’s normally off limits,” he said. “When the format aired in the UK, social media was flooded with questions and overwhelming praise for the medical teams involved with people completely in awe of what they had seen.”

OPERATION LIVE will air this Sunday night after MKR at 9pm on SEVEN