High-Tech Training: Angel MedFlight’s Patient Simulator

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Angel MedFlight’s patient simulator.

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

He’s alive! Well, not really but SimMan®  sure seems like he is.

SimMan®  is a  lifelike manikin, a total body simulator which is used as a training tool for our critical care flight nurses and paramedics  at Angel MedFlight. And just how lifelike SimMan®  appears is both fascinating and eerie at the same time.

“The eyes open and close. His mouth opens and closes. He’ll moan, he’ll groan,” says Director of Clinical Services, Kevin Anderson.

One of the many simulations SimMan®  is used for is CPR training. Anderson says when the simulator is hooked up to a pulmonary program it will make a number of sounds, including breaths (with a rising and falling chest) and gurgles to indicate certain symptoms. The manikin has a heartbeat and its pulse can be checked at various points including carotid, radial, femoral and dorsalis.

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Angel MedFlight’s SimMan® shown with laptop for loading software.

Anderson says with SimMan® , “We can change the EKG strip, we can run IV fluids. We can run IV fluids through him, we can actually give meds and it will respond ‘med given.'” Yes, SimMan®  even bleeds.

Training for clearing airways is one of the best things about our model, says Anderson. “It can be intubated nasally as well as through the mouth. It’s got regular teeth. So if you go to intubate and stick a laryngoscope in his mouth and you push on the teeth it will buzz, which will indicate your procedure is incorrect.”

The manikin itself has a chargeable battery plus he comes with his own laptop computer which can be loaded with various simulated conditions. Various modules can be loaded into SimMan® ‘s to help our flight paramedics train for different conditions. The modules include trauma, head injury and bleeding, and emergency respiratory and cardiac.

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Several conditions can be simulated with this patient simulator by loading in various modules.

With this simulator, our trainers are able to program a scenario into the manikin and see how the medical crew members respond. Anderson says, “We can say this patient been brought into the ER. He’s on a stretcher. Does he have an open airway? Do you hear sounds? Do you hear gurgling? Do you hear his breath sounds and in each scenario it goes ‘What do you do if?'” In cardiac arrest training SimMan®  will create conditions that call for shooting him with medication or shocking him with a defibrillator.

Seeing SimMan®  in action for the first time can be a little creepy. What seems to give people the biggest chill up the spine? Anderson says folks can get a little spooked when SimMan®  moves his eyes back and forth.

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