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Video Game For Surgeons Tragically Backfires
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NEW YORK - Based on studies conducted by researchers from Iowa State University and Beth Israel, New York General Hospital has instituted a policy requiring surgeons to spend at least 10 hours a week playing video games. The studies showed that the games improve hand-eye coordination, which translates into more accurate and efficient surgery. "It seemed like an excellent idea at the time," recalled Chief Surgeon Arnold Hanlin, "The surgeons took well to it, they were highly competitive which pushed them all to improve. No one could have predicted this sad outcome."

The plan showed its dark side Friday evening in surgical room #3. Dr. Nathaniel Ashur had been playing "Grand Theft Organ: Chop Shop" and was approaching a new high score when he was paged for an emergency appendectomy. "I guess I was a little 'buzzed' from the intensity of the game," Dr. Ashur told investigators, "And I was in that 'harvester' mode, get in, get it all, get out. I just sort of lost it." Before the attending anesthesiologist intervened, Dr. Ashur had managed to remove the patient's appendix, large intestine, spleen, and a kidney. "He was chanting, 'oh yeah, baby, high score, high score' and stuff like that," recalled the anesthesiologist, "I didn't understand it at first. But when I saw the organs start to come out, I knew we had a problem."

"I always recommend warming up with 'Super Monkey Ball' instead of anything too intense, to avoid just this sort of thing," said Hanlin, "And that is the official policy of the hospital. GTO, in particular, has been cited in several 'near misses', but this is the first documented case of a surgeon actually going over the edge like this."

Hospital officials were quick to point out that the patient's organs were returned to him, and he will not be charged for the appendectomy. "He's probably in better shape now than when he came in," commented NYGH legal counsel, "Sort of like a tune-up. Absolutely no need to sue Dr. Ashur, much less the hospital."

The patient is not being named, at his request.
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