School becomes Operating Theatre for outstanding surgical event


Operating Theatre Live Oct 2018

During the October half term break we had the pleasure of hosting the outstanding Operating Theatre Live. This event was open to high school and college students from Lancashire, Manchester, Blackpool and the surrounding areas.

Operating Theatre Live gave students the chance to dissect real specimens led by human anatomist Samuel Piri, who recently appeared on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den in August.

Furthermore, this immersive experience was an amazing opportunity for students who want a career in medicine, healthcare, bio-science or sports exercise.

“Me and my team guarantee you a breath-taking, unforgettable trip through the human body like never before. Each student will leave stretched and challenged having made measurable progress against the science specification.”
Samuel Piri (Anatomist, Teacher and Programme Director)

The 80+ students from Tauheedul Islam Boys High School, Westholme School, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, Runshaw College, amongst others took part in a number of workshops during the day including:

Patient Care and Infection Control

Firstly, students worked on communication skills using interview techniques, and learnt about the four types of microorganism and the structure of bacteria.


Students then learnt how to identify the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, and how local and general anaesthetics function.

The students also worked in teams to prepare stock solutions of Propofol anaesthetic to calculated concentrations before calculating doses and administering using an IV.

Principles of Anatomy

Next, students explored the anatomical position and its importance in communicating human
anatomy. After that, they learned the terminology used when navigating the human body and the major landmark structures.

Head and Neck

After break the teams performed medical dissections on pig cadavers. In other words, they removed and dissected the brain and spinal cord, in the process learning about the brain and how it is organised into somatic and autonomic components. The students also explored the reflex arc and motor and sensory nerves in responding to stimuli.

They also isolated the eye and dissected the optic nerve and lens to appreciate its role as a photoreceptor and a sensory nerve.

The Thorax

Following lunch, the teams dissected a full thoracic block including the trachea, heart, lungs and diaphragm. The students had fun intubating the lungs using surgical equipment to observe the mechanism of inhalation and exhalation before dissecting the pulmonary tree.

Next they mapped out the structure of the heart before dissecting it using post-mortem techniques to observe the intricate structures.

The Abdomen

During the remainder of the afternoon, the students familiarised themselves with the gastrointestinal tract. They examined the structures of the digestive system including the oesophagus, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, small intestine, colon, rectum and anus.

Amputation and Emergency Medicine

Finally after a hot evening meal, students had the option of taking part in a special trauma workshop. This included a full dissection of the leg.

The teams each performed an amputation to create a viable stump, which they finished off with mattress stitching. They also had the chance to apply plaster casts to immobilise fractured limbs.

In conclusion, all of the students had an amazing day. This was a once in a lifetime chance to get hands on with current medical techniques before studying for a career in medicine or health care.

WARNING – the images and video below feature animal dissection.

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